Teens killed in violent Catasauqua crash

Driver had history of license suspensions

Author: , Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published: Dec 29 2012 08:18:06 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 29 2012 06:19:16 PM EST
2 teens killed in crash in Catasauqua
CATASAUQUA, Pa. -

A teenager and his girlfriend were killed in a violent car crash early Saturday morning.  The snow wasn't a factor, but police are looking at whether drinking was.  Court records also indicate the driver had a history of license suspensions.

"Just sad for all of us," said driver Thomas Bono's mother, Elizabeth Ann Hagerty-Bono.  "A loss."

Bono and his girlfriend, Jaenis Delos Santos, were young and apparently in love.  But both teens died early Saturday morning when his car lost control and slammed into a utility pole.  The accident happened on Race Street in Catasauqua, just blocks from Delos Santos' home.

"I don't know what they were doing at 5:45 a.m.", said Hagerty-Bono.

Thomas Bono moved in with his girlfriend, and out of his mother's home, earlier this year.  She said she had not seen him in weeks.

Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas Kish believes speed was a factor.  He also said alcohol bottles were found at the scene.

Two passengers in the back seat were also hurt: Aaron Machado, 21, and Paige Easterly, 17.  Both were taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, where Easterly was in serious condition Saturday afternoon.  Machado's condition was unknown.

"My heart goes out to their families, especially at this time of year," said Hagerty-Bono.

Thomas Bono was known for his D.J. skills.  His mother said he taught himself to play the piano.

"He enjoyed dancing," she said.  "He enjoyed making music."

But Bono also had a troubled past, pleading guilty three times this year to driving with suspended license, as well as running a stop light.  Bono also pleaded guilty to criminal trespass in July.  A retail theft charge from March was dismissed.

In one recent Facebook video, Bono placed his sister's cat in the refrigerator as a prank.

According to Hagerty-Bono, the last time she saw him was at a court hearing, after he allegedly broke her foot trying to push her down the stairs.  She said she refused to drop criminal charges at that time.

She said Bono never recovered from his father's death nearly a decade ago.

"He was happy, but he was angry inside," she said.  "And he didn't know how to channel his anger sometimes."

Bono was a student at William Allen High.  Delos Santos graduated from Catasauqua High School this year, according to relatives.