"This is that worst phone call you could ever get in the middle of the night," said Mary Ellsworth, who brought her daughter to where the accident happened.
The car appears to have been going downhill at high speed, blew through a T-intersection, went airborne, and hit a tree. Two of the passengers were thrown from the vehicle. #abc7now #SantaRosa pic.twitter.com/6S8XJ9QCxw— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) July 1, 2019
"I mean they were good kids. Teens wanting to have a good time. And it did not go well," said Jena Kelly, who knew the victim.
Kelly is one of many teens from Maria Carrillo High school who left flowers following the early morning accident. The fast moving car appears to have blown a stop sign, missed a turn, hit the curb, gone airborne, and hit three trees on the way down. That impact ejected two of the teens from the car, killing one, and injuring another. The driver walked away.
"It was like-- smashed really loud," said Raine Levinson, who lives in apartments up the street.
Santa Rosa Police arrested the 16-year-old driver and charged her with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. While police say there is no indication of another car being involved, witnesses tell a different story based on all the people there after the crash.
"I come up the balcony and I saw six, seven people, three or four cars, yelling and screaming," said Lou Capurro, who also lives up the street.
Accident scene. It is the first time most of these kids have had to deal with the death of a friend. They describe both the driver and victims as good kids. Mother of a girl said, "You can't hold them back. You trust. Your pray. You dread a call like this." #Abc7now #SantaRosa pic.twitter.com/X6kTBl3LL6— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) July 1, 2019
Whatever happened, and how, this is the first time many of these teens have lost someone close to them in their age group.
"It's just that she was so sweet. I wish I could get to know her more," said McKenna O'Brian, a friend of the victim.
"She was always so kind. Never horrible to anyone," continued Kelly. "I was on the same softball team. She was always here when I had a bad day. Was easy to talk to. A great person."
Jena Kelly mourns the loss of a friend last nigh in accident involving three Maria Carrillo high school students in #SantaRosa. 2nd passenger seriously injured. 16 year-old female driver arrested for vehicular manslaughter. Witnesses say there may have been a 2nd car. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/IH8ObkQ90g— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) July 1, 2019
Santa Rosa Police withheld the names of the victim and the driver. They would be juniors in high school next year.
The driver tested negative for drugs and alcohol.