A Michigan teenager was driving over 100 MPH when she crashed into a tree, killing herself and her 16-year-old passenger, the local sheriff says.
Sabrina Almaraz, 17, and Kaleigh Woodman were traveling in the vehicle in Pennfield Township Dec. 10 when the crash occurred, media reports said.
“The information we pulled from a data-retention box in the vehicle shows the vehicle was traveling at 103 mph,” Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said, according to Daily Mail.
Almaraz had only recently passed her driving test. She lost control of the car and it left the road, striking a tree.
“The primary contributing factor to the accident was high rate of speed combined with an inexperienced driver,” Saxton said. “But at that rate of speed, I don't know that even an experienced driver would have been able to regain control.”
Both teenagers attended Pennfield High School, where Almaraz was a junior and Woodman was in 11th grade.
“We have a school liaison officer with Pennfield schools and he will be doing some education with young drivers and [have] casual conversations with young drivers during the school day,” Saxton added.
A large crowd attended a vigil for the two teenagers at the school Dec. 13.
“They say that time heals all wounds, but right now, quite honestly, many of us are thinking there’s just not enough time in eternity. There’s so much pain and so much difficulty, especially in this season,” a pastor told the vigil.
Donations were collected to help the families cover funeral costs.
A memorial has been created spontaneously by friends and family at the crash site, with teddy bears, candles, flowers and crosses being left there.
Trevor Sisco, a friend of both the victims, told WOOD, “They were the kindest people you could meet.”
He added a message to other young drivers.
“Please be safe when you’re driving. These roads, these back roads are dangerous. You cannot speed. I’ll be honest, I speed from time to time,” Sisco said.