Two boys and a man whose lives were claimed in a two-vehicle crash in Pico Rivera were identified Friday.
Braulio Duque, a 13-year-old Whittier resident, his friend, Gilbert Henriquez, and the man driving them, 22-year-old Efren Velasquez, were killed when their Honda Civic collided with another car about 8:45 p.m. Thursday near San Gabriel River Parkway and Rose Hills Road (map), about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Another boy, 12-year-old Humberto Flores, and an unidentified woman were also in the Civic at the time of the crash. Both were hospitalized in critical condition.
The group was returning home from a pool party celebrating the three boys’ sixth-grade graduation from Carmela Elementary School in Whittier.
"I heard a bang," said witness Albert Delgado, who was driving his car on San Gabriel River Parkway. "I saw bodies everywhere. I was trying to help the kids. I stayed with one -- he was breathing."
“I thought it was just debris from the vehicle until I got closer -- it was bodies,” Delgado added.
Two females in the other car involved in the crash -- a Nissan Sentra -- also were hospitalized. Details regarding their conditions were not immediately available.
A preliminary investigation indicated Velasquez was driving north on San Gabriel River Parkway and crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic. The Honda collided head-on with the Nissan, traveling south on the street.
All three boys were thrown from the backseat of the Civic. Two of the boys killed were pronounced dead at the scene.
On Friday afternoon, parents and teachers at Carmela Elementary School consoled each other after hearing the news.
Mourners have stopped by the crash site, leaving candles. Relatives and friends gathered Friday night and wept nearby.
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