Memorial Held for Students Killed in Santa Clarita Crash

The crash occurred just north of Highway 14 on Friday morning

A memorial service was held on Friday night for three teens killed in an off-road crash in Santa Clarita.

People lit candles and paid tribute to the students during a moving ceremony at John Burroughs High School in Burbank.

"It's just really devastating," one student said. 

The crash was reported around 7:15 a.m. near Rush Canyon Road just north of Highway 14, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Five people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. One person suffered minor injuries, another had potentially life-threatening injuries and three others were pronounced dead on arrival. Among the dead were the driver and a passenger, both men, and a female passenger.

They have been identified as driver Ian Bulbanko, Jake Gnasso and April Townsend.

The two survivors were airlifted to Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia.

A passenger who reported the crash by cell phone said the group was in the truck Thursday night when the driver lost control and crashed. The group was stranded in the canyon overnight.

"We're not sure that it's off-roading but what does concern us is that this area is a dangerous area," said California Highway Patrol officer John Lutz. "It's not very well lit. It's not intended for thoroughfare traffic."

It was unknown whether alcohol played a factor in the crash, Lutz said.

"I actually found out over Twitter, just people reacting to just, to the news," a student named Dominic said. 

On Twitter, students are using the hashtag #burbankangels, a hashtag created last year after five students from different Burbank high schools, including John Burroughs, were killed in a fiery crash on the 5 Freeway in September 2013.

"It's a wake-up call...two years in a row, it's around the same time, it's, it's bad," one student said.

Guidance counselors will be made available to students and staff at John Burroughs High School.

Robert Kovacik contributed to this report.

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