FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Students at a suburban New York high school dressed in green on Monday — the school's color — in memory of five teenagers who died during the weekend in a head-on collision with a sport utility vehicle on a busy street in this Long Island community.
"They're young kids who had a future ahead of them, as much as I do, and they didn't know that they were going to end like this," 16-year-old sophomore Kimberly Kolsch told Newsday.
Nassau County police said four of the teenagers died when the car they were in crashed with a large SUV early Saturday. A fifth teenager was pronounced dead at Nassau University Medical Center on Sunday night, police said.
The teens were riding in a 2001 Nissan when it crossed over a double yellow line and collided with a GMC Suburban. Two people in the SUV were seriously injured.
Police on Monday identified the teenagers as Jesse J. Romero, 18; Tristan Reichle, 17; Cody Talanian, 17; Noah Francis, 15, and Carly Lonborg, 14. A spokesman said the homicide squad had yet to release information on who was driving. Other details about the crash investigation also were not immediately provided.
Grief counselors were sent to Farmingdale High School, where all of the teens were either current of former students. The flag outside the school was flying at half-staff.
"This has been a heartbreaking time for our Farmingdale School District community as well as the greater Farmingdale community," School Superintendent John Lorentz said in a statement Monday. "There is nothing more devastating than losing a child."
A vigil on Sunday night at St. Kilian's Roman Catholic Church — about a half-mile from the crash scene — was attended by more than 1,000 people.
Parent Jeff Kolsch said he told his daughter, "Life is short, it can end anytime. Be grateful for everyday day," and "we're thankful that God gives us another day."