HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Family and friends gathered to grieve and console one another after a drive took the lives of two high school students and injured one in Homestead.
The driver and a passenger were killed on impact and another passenger continues to fight for his life after the deadly drive, Monday evening. Friends of the students organized a vigil that began at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at the Keys Gate Charter School, in Homestead. They held blue and white balloons and wrote messages of love on posters to the teen victims.
The students gathered to remember 17-year-old Isaiah West and 18-year-old Samir Barrera, who were killed in a wreck on Southwest 137th Avenue, near Campbell Drive. Loved ones also prayed for the recovery of 18-year-old Isaac Lipscomb, the sole surivior of the crash.
In tears and holding onto each other for emotional support, loved ones grieved with the students’ fellow classmates. Tears were followed by prayer, singing and the release of the star-shaped balloons.
“I don’t have words, ’cause I’m still in shock,” said Cory’a Douglas, a friend of one of the victims. “It’s a hard pill for me to swallow.”
“Isaiah was the light,” said Angelina Morman, West’s cousin. “If you ever looked down or if you needed a smile, he was there.”
Police said the preliminary investigation revealed that Barrera was the driver of the Mini Cooper and lost control of the car and slammed into a tree after trying to maneuver around traffic.
“They discovered several persons had been ejected,” said Homestead Police Detective Fernando Morales.
West, Barrera and Lipscomb were student athletes at Keys Gate Charter. Classmates posted picture collages on social media after hearing about the devastating news.
Student Dillon Stige expressed how tragic the situation is. “I had a class with one of them who passed. I’m not gonna see them there no more,” he said. “It’s shocking. I didn’t think they would really pass so soon.”
“We miss them. The whole school misses them,” said Jason Alfonso, a teammate of the teens. “Today, the whole school was quiet. It’s not even the same.”
Lipscomb was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition after being freed from the mangled car. “They were going fishing together, and then it happened,” said Savannah Lipscomb, Lipscomb’s sister.
A video was posted on Facebook Live of Lipscomb, who went into surgery for a back injury at Ryder Trauma Center, Tuesday morning, according to his mother.
The teen’s family as well as coaches and friends rushed to the hospital to pray and find strength in numbers.
“No mother should have to go through that,” said Jill Zachary, Lipscomb’s mother. “They’re still in high school. They haven’t even lived life yet.”
Lipscomb entered into a six-hour surgery, Tuesday evening, where doctors worked on his back. “I’m taking it kind of hard because it’s like, I didn’t expect it to happen the way it happened. It didn’t seem real,” said Demtriah Taylor, Lipscomb’s friend.
The school released a statement that read: “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. This is a very difficult time at our school and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. We are like a great big family, and the loss of our loved ones is awful. Our thoughts are with these students families and friends.”
Grief counselors were on hand Tuesday to speak with students and staff.
The family of Lipscomb have established a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of his recovery.
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