KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Two teenagers are dead after a car crashed into a strip mall in Kissimmee on Thursday, according to police. It happened in the area of 1906 W. Vine Street, just east of Thacker Avenue around 10 p.m.
Police say there were at least five people inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and the second was pronounced at a nearby hospital.
Tire marks could be seen where the car came over a curb and hit a water pipe in a ditch. Witnesses said that send the small sedan flipping through a small tree and into the side of a vacant store front where it landed upside down.
"Once it hit the pipe it like, the whole place shook,” said J.P. Rabelo who was working in the near-by Metro PCS store.
Rabelo said one of his co-workers ran out to try to help the victims until police arrived. Their store didn’t have running water until Friday afternoon as a result of the wreck.
The victims have been identified as Melanie Peguero and Sebastian Suarez-Palacio. Friends said Friday that the two were boyfriend and girlfriend who were on their way back from soccer practice with 3 others. They were also identified as Gateway High School students.
"We were close. He was like my little brother,” said Yalizalee Ortiz.
Ortiz showed up at the scene for the first time Friday to see where her long-time friend, Suarez-Palacio was ultimately killed. She got the call from a friend about the accident last night after work.
"I just rushed to the hospital in my work clothes and everybody was there grieving, praying together just hoping he would get better, and then we got the news and it was horrible,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz described him as an avid soccer player that was always the light in the on the field.
"He never let anyone get mad, he was talented at soccer, he had a bright future ahead of him."
Friends of Peguero gathered at the scene as well Friday, laying flowers, and sharing memories of her across social media.
"She's really sweet, she's really nice, she's Columbian; really nice people,” said Yabdiel Rivera who knew Melanie since middle school.
Friends said Peguero was only 16-years-old and would be a junior at Gateway next year.
A third person remains in critical condition and is being treated at Osceola Regional Medical Center, and no information has been released about the other two people in the car.
Kissimmee Police said Friday that it’s still too early in the investigation to determine if speed or slick roads could have been a factor.