Irvine

5 Teens Killed in Irvine Crash Remembered at Vigil

Hundreds of people gathered at a somber candlelight vigil in Mission Viejo on Sunday night to mourn the loss of five teenagers who were killed in a fiery car crash.

In the crowd was the father and soccer coach of one of the victims, Matthew Melo. The grieving dad was surrounded by the team, with his son’s cleats hanging over his shoulders by the strings.

“We’re never going to have answer to why,” said a woman holding back tears at the vigil. “I wish you guys could’ve known them, because they’re fabulous boys.”

The victims are Melo, Alex Sotelo and Brandon Moreno, all of whom were between 14 and 15 years old. They were part of the Mission Viejo Soccer Club.

Two girls who also died played on the water polo team at Laguna Hills High School. They were identified by mourners at the vigil as Jenny Campos and Jenny Bahena.

Bradley Morales, the 16-year-old unlicensed driver of the BMW, was the lone survivor of the single-car wreck. He remained hospitalized in serious condition after undergoing surgery. He was listed in serious but stable condition with a large skull fracture and internal bleeding, CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital said.

Investigators will inspect the 1995 BMW the teen was driving for signs of mechanical failure that might have contributed to the crash early Saturday morning on the southbound 5 Freeway, the California Highway Patrol said.

Skid marks on the freeway and the distance the car traveled after hitting a guardrail suggest speed possibly played a role, the CHP said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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