WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol said two 17-year-olds from Wesley Chapel died in a crash on Monday night.
According to FHP, it happened at the intersection of Estancia Boulevard and San Romano Drive around 10:30 p.m.
Troopers said a 17-year-old boy was driving a 2003 Toyota Sequoia northbound on Estancia when he lost control for unknown reasons. The SUV left the road and crashed into a retention pond where it completely submerged.
FHP said the dive team with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office found the vehicle several hours later. The driver and the passenger, a 17-year-old girl, both died.
According to FHP, the teenagers were both wearing seatbelts.
For those in the Estancia community of Wesley Chapel, all they could do on Tuesday was pray.
“Your kid is not supposed to be taken before you are. It’s just not ok,” said Kristiana Lorbach.
“It could have been us. We were driving last night. You think it can’t happen to you until it really does,” said Carter Kelley, who went to school with one of the victims.
“You feel removed from it until all of a sudden you’re like 'oh my gosh, I knew this family.' And then immediately my heart goes out to the mom. How do I reach out to her? How do I help her,” said Lorbach.
Authorities have not released the names of the victims, but people in the neighborhood told ABC Action News both teens are from the area and just graduated high school.
“We are 17. They are 17. They just graduated high school. So they are going to college, they are going to do all this stuff and now they can’t. It’s just a lot to think about,” said Kelley.