WARREN, Ohio (KDKA) – A Honda SUV carrying eight teens went off the road, struck a guardrail and landed in a swampy pond in Warren, Ohio Sunday.
As a result of the crash, six friends from the same neighborhood were killed.
“Pick up the phone and call your siblings and your family and tell them you love them because you never know what can happen, tomorrow is not promised to anybody,” Ashia Cayson said.
While family, friends, and the community come to grips with such an incredible tragedy, police continue to look for answers to questions such as how the teens got the car and where they were heading.
They said the SUV was overloaded and the driver was speeding.
“We will not be speculating on the alcohol and or drug usage, pending toxicology results,” Lt. Brian Holt said.
Two of the teens were able to get out of the SUV as it was submerged in the water upside down.
They ran a quarter-mile to a home to call 911, but by the time rescuers arrived on scene, it was just too late for the others.
The teens killed ranged in age from 14 to 19.
“Your heart goes out, you know cause don’t nobody ever want to lose a kid, you know. Don’t nobody want to lose their kid. You know to have them, they didn’t have a chance to live life yet,” Deborah Croff said.
Grief counselors were at the victim’s schools to talk to students.
“We all know everybody is emotional and grieves in different ways and we just want an opportunity at least to have our doors open for people to know that we do care as a school district, as a community,” Michael Notar said.
School leaders said it will be a rough week and a rough rest of the school year.