3 teens have died in a horrific tragedy just days before Christmas as haunting pictures of sneakers from the scene have been revealed.
The vehicle ran off the road and crashed into the woods on Wednesday night on Long Island, Suffolk County police said.
The driver of the car, Cem Gunes, was only 16 years old and didn’t have a license, according to police.
He was driving his mother’s 2009 Infiniti G37 and had a learner’s permit – meaning he should not have been driving the car without an adult at least 21 years old present, according to New York State law.
Gunes and passenger Taylor Beltramini, 17, were ejected from the car.
Police said it was unlikely that Gunes and Beltramini were wearing seatbelts.
They, along with the third victim, Landon Kromhout Auditore, 18, were pronounced dead at the scene.
No one else was in the car at the time of the accident.
Witnesses told police that the vehicle appeared to be speeding and that it overturned multiple times.
“Witnesses tried to assist in every way possible,” Suffolk Police Department Inspector Darrell Simmons told reporters Thursday, Newsday reports.
“It was a horrific accident and I’m sure they did everything they could.”
‘NOW HE’S GONE’
Adriana Barrington, Gunes’ girlfriend, told News 12 she was “speechless.”
Barrington was spotted at the scene of the crash on Thursday, gathering her late boyfriend’s belongings.
“I was supposed to spend all of Christmas break with him and now he’s just, he’s gone,” she told News 12.
Jameek Collier is a friend of Beltramini’s who told News 12 that the girl would be remembered for being a “good person.”
“It’s just hurtful to see that she died at a young age, especially in a car crash. It’s sad,” Collier said.
She recovered a notebook and one of Gunes’ sneakers from the scene.
The New York Turkish American Center acknowledged Gunes’ passing in a statement.
“Last night, we lost a son, a friend, a family member and a fellow member of our Turkish community. Cem Gunes was a student, a great friend of those who came around him,” the Facebook post reads.
“To his family, friends and peers we are with you every step of the way. May Allah grant him and let him rest in eternal peace.
‘AN ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY’
Police are still investigating the crash and are looking to determine how fast the car may have been going.
“It’s terrible. We’re all parents; we have young kids that drive,” Simmons said.
“It’s an absolute tragedy, especially around Christmas.”
Beltramini was set to graduate from Floyd Academy in January, while Auditore attended William Floyd High School and was set to graduate in June.
Both schools are within the William Floyd School District.
“We have reached out to both families to offer support that they need through this difficult time,” the school district shared in a statement.
“Grief and crisis counselors are available for Floyd Academy and William Floyd High School students or any student across the district who has been affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families at this time.”