Man Dies Trying to Stop Friend From Driving Drunk

Joseph Ianzano held onto car's spoiler, got thrown in crash
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2014 8:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Joseph Ianzano was worried about a friend—and it ended up costing the Florida 19-year-old his life. He'd driven some friends back to his place after a concert Saturday night, and he feared one of them was too drunk to drive himself home. "He blocked the car with his car so that he couldn’t get out," Ianzano's grandmother tells CBS Miami. But the driver, who she says is a close family friend, "got around the car and Joey ran after him and grabbed onto the spoiler trying to stop him yelling, screaming." He was "yelling to [the driver], 'Stop you're going to kill somebody,'" she tells WSVN. That's when tragedy struck.

According to police, the driver sped away as Ianzano held on, and half a block later, the car hit a tree; it went across a driveway and hit three more cars before stopping, NBC Miami reports. "I heard it and I came running out and that’s when I saw him laying there," says a friend of Ianzano, who was thrown from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Local 10 reports. Family and friends say they're not surprised Ianzano tried to keep his friend from hurting himself: "He thought about everyone else before himself to a fault," says a cousin. Ianzano was days away from starting school to fulfill his lifelong goal of becoming a firefighter. The crash is still being investigated, and the driver has not been charged. (Last month, a woman walking home was hit and killed by the friend she thought was too drunk to drive her.)

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