A Nebraska community is mourning the deaths of four teenage girls who died in a fiery car crash on Monday night.
“For some unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway, struck the end of a guardrail, and ended up in a ravine. The vehicle caught fire and was fully engulfed when deputies arrived,” Captain Chris Culler of the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement, adding that the girls were all believed to be 15 and 16-years-old.
There was a fifth passenger in the car, who was taken to a local hospital and treated for burns. Three of the passengers have not been positively identified, although police believe they know who the victims are.
“It is unknown, at this time, if speed and/or alcohol was involved,” part of the statement read. “This fatality crash is in the very early stages of investigation, and this is all the information we will release at this time.”
On Tuesday morning, their fellow students from Gretna High School came together to celebrate their lives at the location where the crash happened, according to KOLN. Deputies then told them that the roads were too dangerous, so they went to the high school instead.
Mia Huffman and Maddie Peterson, who knew the victims and attend Millard West, left flowers at the crash site, the outlet reports, and said that their first reaction when they heard the news was that it couldn’t be real.
“I just, like, was so shocked and just, like, shaky,” Peterson told KOLN. “I know everyone thinks, like, I think that everyone’s invincible. It really does happen, and this is, so, like, an eye-opener.”
A local real estate company created a GoFundMe page for the families of the victims and has since raised over $7,000.
“We are all heartbroken that our community here in Omaha suffered the loss of 4 young, bright and beautiful girls in a deadly car accident yesterday evening, leaving 1 still alive, yet in critical condition,” part of the page read. “All throughout today, our hearts have been aching for the family and friends of all 5 of these Gretna students, so we decided during our team meeting that we wanted to show our support and unite as a community to help those suffering in disbelief, pain, and grief.”
They added: “If your heart feels called to help out too, please consider donating whatever you can to the families of these victims. One80 Group will match donations up to $1,000 and we will evenly distribute the funds between the 5 families.”
On Tuesday night, mourners went to St. Patrick’s Church in Gretna to talk about the lives that were taken too soon.