Counselors Offer Support After Fiery Crash That Killed Five Irvine Students

The services came amid new revelations about the driver's license

By Melissa Pamer and Vikki Vargas
|  Thursday, May 30, 2013  |  Updated 6:26 AM PDT
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Friends of four Irvine teenagers who were killed in a fiery crash in Newport Beach organized a vigil that drew some 500 mourners Wednesday evening. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 29, 2013.

Friends of four Irvine teenagers who were killed in a fiery crash in Newport Beach organized a vigil that drew some 500 mourners Wednesday evening. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 29, 2013.

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Teen Driver in Fatal Crash Did Not Have Valid License

DMV records show the teenager behind the wheel of the fiery crash that killed five 16- and 17-year-olds should not have been driving because he only had a provisional license. Students at Irvine High School left flowers at a growing memorial and remembered the teens that lost their lives in the crash. Vikki Vargas reports from Irvine for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on May 29, 2013.

Peers Remember Teenage Crash Victims: "They Had a Lot of Friends"

Two teenage sisters and three of their friends were killed in a fiery, high-speed crash in Newport Beach this week. The students, ages 16 and 17, attended Irvine High School and University High. Administrators said counselors will be on hand Wednesday when classes resume. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 28, 2013.
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School counselors were on campus in Irvine Wednesday, two days after five Irvine high-schoolers were killed in a fiery crash that split in half the sedan in which they were traveling.

Abdulrahman M. Alyahyan, 17, a University High School senior, was the driver, while passengers Nozad Al Hamawendi, 17, Cecilia Zamora, 17, and sisters Robin Cabrera, 17, and Aurora Cabrera, 16, were all Irvine High School students.

They were identified Tuesday.

Irvine High School have four counselors and a psychologist available on an average day, but on Wednesday morning there were 25 on campus, said Ian Hanigan of the Irvine Unified School District.

"Their mission is twofold: one is to seek out students hit particularly hard by the tragedy ... and establish a place to go for students who want somewhere to talk," Hanigan said.

As students headed back to class on Wednesday, some held flowers for a memorial.

Krysten Lee, a sophomore, said she wasn't friend with the victims, but she bore a bouquet nonetheless.

"I just wanted to kind of appreciate the people that were killed in the car accident," Lee said. "I just wanna kinda show that I did care about them even though I didn't know them."

Hanigan said is would not be "business as usual" on the Irvine campuses.

Meanwhile, it was revealed on Wednesday that Alyahyan had only a provisional driver's license and was cited in April for violating that license, according to documents provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Alyahyan applied for the license in February, but was required to wait a full year before he could drive other teens. In April, he was cited for adding an exhaust system to his car and for having tinted windows.

"It was illegal, but it kind of happens a lot. Most kids, they get their provisional license, and they think, 'Oh, it's my license, I can do whatever I want now,'" said Davic Grayce, a friend of the victims.

Police still do not know how fast the car was traveling when it hit a tree on median on Jamboree Road, splitting in two and bursting into flames. But they have said they suspect speed was a factor in the crash.

The busy roadway, designed to carry 32,000 cars a day, has a speed limit of 55 mph.


 

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