Teens Killed In Newport Beach Crash Remembered By Friends
Classmates are remembering the friends they lost in Monday's terrible crash, in which five teens perished.
Several students of Irvine and University High School gathered along Jamboree Road, where their friends died after their car hit a tree, the LA Times reports.
"You never saw that guy frown once," Aram Yaco, 17, said of Nozad Hamawendi, who was a junior at Irvine High School and reported to be the driver, although some accounts placed his friend, 17-year-old Abdul Alyahyan, behind the wheel.
Alyahyan attended Irvine's University High School. According to Fox, he only had a provisional license, which would have forbidden him to drive with passengers under 20 until he turned 18.
Cecilia Zamora, a junior at Irvine High, was one of the girls killed in the crash. Friends called her "Cecy" and described her to the Times as "one of the happiest people you'll ever meet."
The other two passengers were sisters Aurora and Robin Cabrera, a sophomore and a senior, respectively, at Irvine High School. They were on the phone with friends they had planned to meet at Huntington Beach, Fox reports. "She was laughing, and suddenly the line went dead! We tried to call back, but they never picked up."
"There are simply no words to convey the sorrow felt by our staff and our students and our community and nor are there sufficient answers to explain the loss of these vibrant young teenagers," Terry L. Walker, superintendent of schools in Irvine, told the Times.
Police said excessive speed was a contributing factor to the accident, which split the car in two and ejected four of the five teens.
"I've been on duty for almost 30 years, and I've seen some terrible vehicular accidents," said Newport Beach fire Capt. Glenn White, who responded to the crash. "This was, if not the worst, one of the worst I've ever seen."
Spokesman Ian Hanigan told KPCC that the school district has never experienced such a tragic loss, "When you lose a student, it's about the most devastating thing that a campus and a community can go through. And to magnify that times five... I think there'll be a lot of heavy hearts in the days and weeks to come ahead, and the ripple effect is just enormous."
Previously: Horrendous Crash Kills 5 Teens in Newport Beach