A vigil was held Wednesday night in Phelan for two teenagers who died when a dump truck carrying concrete lost control and pushed their car off a freeway and into an embankment in the Cajon Pass.
The collision, which injured three others, occurred shortly before 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of the 15 and 138 freeways in Phelan, according to Tracy Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
The dump truck lost its brakes on a small curvy exit off the southbound 15 Freeway, according to officials.
“The truck exited at Highway 138, came through the stop sign and collided with a green PT Cruiser,” Capt. Kyle Hauducoeu of the San Bernardino County Fire Department said.
The vehicles traveled about 20 feet off the roadway with the PT Cruiser coming to a rest underneath the truck, according to Hauducoeu.
The five teenagers were apparently heading back to Phelan after spending the day at the beach when they were hit by the truck. Two of the passengers died at the scene.
The San Bernardino County coroner’s office identified the victims as Nicole Brittney Lyle, 18, of Victorville and 16-year-old John Anthony Cabrera Jr. from Phelan, who was known as “John John.”
More than 100 people gathered Wednesday outside Serrano High School to remember Lyle and Cabrera.
“Every time I think about them all I can see are their smiles,” said friend Robert Mineo. “Every single time I looked at Nicole or John John they just had the biggest smile on their face.”
Lyle had recently graduated from the school.
“She was a beautiful woman,” Joey Pinela, a friend who arrived at the crash scene on Wednesday, said of Lyle.
Shane Gretzner survived the crash with only a few broken ribs.
The vigil was tough for Gretzner who said he was there to thank God for his life and remember his best friends.
“Considering what (the) car looked like, I shouldn’t even be walking,” Gretzner said.
Friends also took to Twitter to express their sadness over the deaths of the two teens.
Wednesday’s vigil centered around Cabrera’s beloved dirt bike.
Friends said they planned to sign the bike and give it to the teenager’s grandmother.
Even though classes have ended for the summer, grief counselor were being made available at the school on Thursday for students.
Martinez said that the passengers were all teenagers and young adults under the age of 25.
A surgical team from Arrowhead Medical Center helped get the victims out of the car, Martinez added.
Two other occupants remained hospitalized Wednesday night at St. Mary Medical Center.
The driver of the truck was not injured.
Greg Riess, whose children knew the victims, said big rigs have crashed in the area at least four times.
Concrete barriers were recently installed at a Shell gas station near the crash scene to keep vehicles from slamming into it.
KTLA’s Kennedy Ryan, Tim Dechant, Jennifer Thang, Melissa Pamer and Anthony Kurzweil contributed to this report.