GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Grief counselors are on hand at a Gwinnett County high school following a devastating car wreck that left three students dead and a fourth fighting for life.
Brandon Martinez, 18, Nelson Umanzor, 18, and 16-year-old Naseer Alwakeel were killed after leaving a Meadowcreek High Homecoming football game around 10:15 p.m. Friday. Police said their SUV ran off the roadway and down an embankment on Steve Reynolds Boulevard.
Another passenger, 17-year-old Mesiah Allen, was transported to GMC Lawrenceville and remains in critical condition.
Officers told FOX 5 News Martinez was traveling on the road when his car approached a slower-traveling vehicle. Witness accounts and evidence suggested Martinez swerved to the right to avoid a collision, lost control of his vehicle and struck a guardrail, according to officials. They are looking into whether speed may have played a factor.
Monday, an overflow crowd gathered at an Atlanta Mosque to say goodbye to Naseer Alwakeel. His uncle said his abrupt death should be a wakeup call for all of us.
“It is a reminder that we need to be better spouses, better fathers, better wives, better neighbors, better bosses, better employees. Elevate our kindness and good actions,” said Belal Alwakeel
It's advice Naseer lived during his short 16 years of life.
“The best of us. If you wanted to paint a picture of a perfect child, in every sense of the word...that's Naseer. Never in trouble, loving. The best of us,” said Alwakeel.
An online account has been set up to help Naseer's family: CLICK HERE
Classmates and faculty gathered on the football field at Meadowcreek High School Monday night to hold vigil. Hundreds dressed in black turned out for a prayer vigil to mourn the loss of three fellow students. Some students said they hope the vigil will help the school to begin to heal.
“It's really, really hard but you know we're sticking together keeping our heads strong putting God first and having a lot of faith in our heart,” said Mateo Hernandez, a friend of the victim.
“Even though I'm still empty and just completely distraught I, it makes me kind of happy [to see all the people here],” said Xenia Umanzor, sister of the victim.
Umanzor said her brother, Nelson, Nasser, and Brandon were members of the Meadowcreek LaCrosse Team. The lone survivor Messiah Allen wanted to be the manager of the team which went to see him in the hospital.
“One thing we definitely are focusing on is to bounce back and to play in their honor and to always get better because that's something about all three of them they're always striving to be better players and better people,” said Jalan Goodman, Lacrosse team member.
Members of the Parkview LaCrosse team also attended to show their respect.
Over the weekend, FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell spoke with grieving students at a makeshift memorial near the crash scene. Soutchay Konglimmany, who plays on the school's lacrosse team, said he'll miss his teammates.
"They were my brothers. We grew up together, played lacrosse together. It's just tragic," Konglimmany told Mitchell.
He added he was at the game with the victims before the crash happened.
"Love your loved ones. You don't know when it's going to be your last chance," Konglimmany said.
Gwinnett County School released the following statement:
We have been notified that four Meadowcreek High School students were involved in a car accident last night. Tragically, three of the students did not survive and the fourth has been hospitalized.
The students involved in the accident, three seniors and one junior, have been very involved at the school. We know the loss of three of these young, promising lives will be difficult for students and staff, alike. The school will have its counselors and emergency response teams at the school on Monday to assist those who need help coping with this loss. In the meantime, our prayers are with all of these students' families and the Meadowcreek community as they deal with this loss.
And a GoFundMe fundraiser set up for Nelson: CLICK HERE