Family and friends of the five young people believed killed in a fiery solo car crash in Burbank early Saturday morning expressed their shock and sorrow over the tragedy Sunday.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office will not be able to identify the bodies of the three males and two females pronounced dead at the scene until later this week or next week since "they're not able to be visually identified," according to Investigator Betsy Magdaleno. However, family members and friends of the deceased have identified those names to media and social media outlets as Burbank High School graduates Malak Hariri, Sebastian Forero, Sameer Nevarez, Sugey Cuevas, and Stephan Stoll.
Suhilah Hariri of Glendale, who identified herself as the aunt of Malak Hariri, said Malak was a 2012 graduate of Burbank High School, a college student and an employee at Best Buy in Burbank who still lived with her parents in Glendale.
"It's really horrible; a terrific accident," a grieving Suhilah Hariri said Sunday morning by phone. "It's so painful the way they died....(The family) is still in shock. The mom is going crazy. The mom is still calling for her, waiting for her to come home. 'Malak you're late, Malak come home.'"
Authorities said the driver of a Nissan sedan was traveling south on San Fernando Boulevard Saturday morning at a high rate of speed, lost control of the vehicle and eventually slammed into an I-5 Freeway concrete abutment near the Scott Road off-ramp at about 4:13 a.m. Saturday. The Nissan was fully engulfed in flames against the abutment when Burbank Police Department officers arrived at the scene, police said.
An 18-year-old female passenger escaped the fire with a broken leg and was found injured nearby the car. She was transported to L.A. County Medical Center and is expected to survive, officials said. Friends have identified the survivor as Savannah Underwood.
Suhilah Hariri described her 19-year-old niece Malak, an aspiring pharmacist whose name in Arabic means 'angel', as a very quiet and calm girl who was "always smiling" no matter what was happening around her.
"Even if we get frustrated with her, she always looks at us and smiles," Suhilah Hariri said. "She never acts bad. She's very smart at school, and very close with her mom and dad."
A woman reached by phone Sunday morning identified herself as the mother of Sebastian Forero, 22, of Burbank, but declined to comment.
"Please, I don't want anything to do with a journalist," the woman said in Spanish.
A makeshift memorial was visible at the crash scene Sunday morning with dozens of lit votive candles, photos of the victims and bouquets of flowers.
One poster, which featured all of their names and all but one of their photos, declared "Requiescant in Pace Burbank's Angels."
"May they find peace in the arms of the Lord. Savannah Underwood may you have a speedy recovery."
Another poster, which was created in memory of Stephen Stoll and featured his photo, had been signed by family and friends.
One person, who signed the poster Love Tia Adelia said: "The Lord decided he needed your Wings early in life...but we will miss you here."
Staff Writer Brian Day contributed to this report. ___