The deaths of two 17-year-olds in a rollover crash in Alameda are weighing heavily on the minds of students and teachers at two East Bay schools.
The Alameda County coroner’s bureau on Tuesday identified the teenagers as Briana Ortega of Hayward, a senior at Decoto School for Independent Study, and Simon Sotelo of Union City, a sophomore at James Logan High School.
“Everyone’s just not as happy as they should be at the end of the school year,” said James Logan High School senior Tabotha Nonog.
John Mattos of the New Haven Unified School District said that officials are doing their best to support students in their time of grief.
“We have a number of counselors, psychologists, social workers that are available if students feel like they need some kind of support processing what happened,” Mattos said.
The two deaths have hit James Logan High School particularly hard because a car collision claimed the life of another student earlier this month. Shane Marcelino, an 18-year-old senior, was killed early May 15 after attending the school’s prom.
“It’s like one after another and it’s all car crashes,” Tabotha said.
Monday’s collision was reported at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue at 8:01 a.m. It involved a minivan with a single occupant and a full-sized truck carrying seven people.
Briana and Simon were both in the truck. She died at the scene and he was transported to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Five other occupants of the truck were transported to a hospital with critical injuries. A woman driving the minivan was also hospitalized with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.
Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the collision.
“This might be something we’re dealing with for the next few days, the remainder of the year,” Mattos said.
Published at 10:19 AM PDT on May 30, 2017 | Updated at 7:49 PM PDT on May 30, 2017