Barbara Le last saw her 19-year-old son, Joshua, about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
"He said, "I've got to run to my friend's house for a minute. I'll be right back,' " Le said.
Joshua Le rode off on his bicycle.
He died Wednesday afternoon after crashing a Honda Accord police say was stolen from an Orlando home.
Joshua Le was driving the car south in the northbound lane of Dale Mabry Highway about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, police say. Valrico resident Samuel Ralph Mato, 70, was traveling north on Dale Mabry in a Dodge van. Both drivers veered into the southbound lane to avoid a crash, but collided head-on.
Le died hours later at Tampa General Hospital.
A passenger in the Honda, Derreck Lamar Redditt, 20, of Tampa, was in critical condition at Tampa General late Wednesday.
Mato was taken to Tampa General with minor injuries.
A third man in the Honda, witnesses told police, got out of the car, wandered around in a daze, sat on a curb for a few minutes and walked away. Police say they don't know the man's name.
The Honda belonged to Orlando resident Jean Willy Charlier, who detectives say didn't know his car was missing until he received a call Wednesday morning from police.
The accident closed S Dale Mabry Highway from 6:15 to 10:15 a.m. between Bay to Bay and El Prado boulevards.
Barbara Le, 35, said her son loved to fish, play video games and listen to rap music. Friends say he sometimes brought toys to neighborhood children in the apartment complex where he lived with his mother and younger brother and sister.
Joshua Le was arrested at least eight times from 2001 to 2003, several times for stealing cars, and served time in a juvenile detention center, according to law enforcement records.
Redditt also has been arrested several times, at least once for stealing a car, records show.
Barbara Le said her son, who attended Robinson High School, had earned a graduate equivalency diploma, was looking for a job and planned to enroll at Hillsborough Community College.
"He was a good kid with a big heart and lots of friends," she said.