KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Two teenagers died late Thursday when a car plowed into a vacant strip mall, the Kissimmee Police Department said.
At least five people were in the vehicle when it crashed at about 11 p.m. on West Vine Street east of North Thacker Avenue, Kissimmee police Lt. Christopher Succi said.
One passenger died at the scene and a second passenger died at a hospital, Succi said. They were identified as Sebastian Suarez-Palacio, 16, and Melanie Peguero.
They were classmates at Gateway High School.
"They were just coming back from soccer practice," a friend of the victims told Channel 9. "They were just about to get home. It isn't that far away."
Witness Jason Brunco said he was having dinner at a nearby restaurant when he heard an engine rev.
“I saw two cars at a pretty high rate of speed," Brunco said. "Next thing I know, I only saw one set of headlights and heard a really large crash."
Jahniah Chance said she was friends with Suarez-Palacios and that they had ROTC class together.
“He was really, really kind to me and he always made me smile. I always had him to talk to,” she said.
Chance said hours after the crash, friends were posting pictures of the wreck on social media.
“I just didn’t want to believe it. I kept telling myself that maybe he is just one of the people in the hospital,” she said.
Friends of the victims said a candlelight vigil is being planned.
"My heart goes out to their parents," Brunco said. "That is something that you never get over. Kids are not supposed to go before their parents."
The crash remains under investigation.
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