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Tragedy Strikes Vegas Teenagers

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Tragedy Strikes Vegas Teenagers

Family and friends leave memories and messages at the scene of the crash.

Family and friends leave memories and messages at the scene of the crash.

Family and friends leave memories and messages at the scene of the crash.

Family and friends leave memories and messages at the scene of the crash.

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Centennial High School and the Las Vegas community mourns the loss of three students to a horrific car crash in Huntington Beach, California in the early morning of March 29.

The teenagers on spring break were stopped at an intersection of PCH and Magnolia Street when the car was struck by a suspected drunk driver. The red Toyota quickly burst into flames killing three of the four in the car. The victims were later identified as Brooke Hawley, Dylan Mack and AJ Rossi.

AJ’s sister, Allie Rossi, told Channel 3 News Las Vegas with tears in her eyes, “He won’t be able to walk across the stage to get his diploma in three months.”

Pictures and videos of the three smiling faces were spread throughout social media in the following week after the crash. Along with a vigil at Knickerbocker Park, Mountain Crest Park, and Centennial High School. A fundraiser was also held at Above the Crust pizza for the Mack Family.

 Dylan’s close friend, Luis, tweeted Friday, March 30, mourning the loss of the three teenagers. “My chest, heart, and eyes burn. I’ve been balling my eyes out for hours. I still can’t believe it.”

The family of the three shared stories on social media, to news stations, and at vigils of the happiness the teenagers brought to the Las Vegas community. Although, the family along with classmates, shared a very important message: Don’t drink and drive.

“I don’t have enough in me to write something emotional. Please think before you get behind the wheel..a couple drinks, a few shots, even one beer isn’t worth a life,” Lavender Jones tweeted after losing a sisterly friendship with Brooke.

Alexis Vargas, the forth teenager sitting in the passenger seat, survived the crash and was rushed to the hospital. Based on medical reports, Alexis suffered severe concussions and burns to the hands and face.

Jordyn Leal, a Faith student who attended the vigil at Knickerbocker Park stated, “The families need the support of everyone in the community now more than ever. Coming together as a community shows the families of the three students, that we as a community are a family itself.”

The driver of the other car, Bani Duarte of San Clemente, was arrested for driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The 27-year-old was released on a $100,000 bail Sunday morning, April 1. She has not yet been charged.

“Drinking and driving is the second most selfish thing you could ever do in this world,” David Heckard, former basketball teammate of Dylan, stated during the candlelight vigil.

The Huntington Beach police have asked the public to contact accident investigator Joshua Page at (714) 536-5670 if you have any information about the crash.

The three victim’s families have GoFundMe accounts set up for memorial purposes and scholarship funds.

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Tragedy Strikes Vegas Teenagers