TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Two 17-year-olds were killed as a result of a single-vehicle crash on Saturday, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).
The crash occurred at 10:25 p.m. on Saturday on Alabama 69 near the 136 mile marker, approximately five miles south of Tuscaloosa, in Tuscaloosa County.
The driver, 17, of Vance, was critically injured when the 2005 Nissan Maxima left the roadway and struck a ditch. The teen was transported to an area hospital, where the youth later succumbed to injuries and was pronounced dead.
One passenger in the Nissan, another 17-year-old of Tuscaloosa, was fatally injured and pronounced dead at the scene.
A 17-year-old passenger and an 18-year-old passenger, both of Tuscaloosa, were injured and transported to area hospitals for treatment. None of the four individuals in the vehicle were using seat belts at the time of the crash.
On Monday morning, the school the two deceased teens attended released a statement.
Paul W. Bryant High School Principal Eric F. Hines confirmed the deaths of Elijah Clark and Mariyae Gulley Monday, adding that their deaths have “left our entire school community in mourning.”
“Elijah and Mariyae were not just students; they were bright, spirited individuals who brought joy and positivity to our school every day,” Hines wrote in a message posted to Facebook Monday. “Their absence will be profoundly felt by their classmates, teachers, and all who had the privilege of knowing them.”
Hines said social workers and support staff would be available to students in order to help them process their grief.
“We extend our deepest condolences to their families,” Hines wrote. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this unimaginably difficult time, and we are here to offer our support in any way we can.”
Nothing further is available as Troopers with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division continue to investigate.