Authorities are still investigating the details of a car accident in Cedar Falls, Iowa, that claimed the lives of three young people.
The crash took place on East Viking Road near the shopping center in Cedar Falls. Police said the young driver and two of his passengers were speeding when they lost control of the vehicle on Friday, Jan. 12.
Their car ended up colliding with an SUV carrying a couple and their nine-year-old daughter, KWWL reported.
Cedar Falls Police said Elijah Showalter, 20, Daniel Delagardelle, 21, and Brady Hagenstein, 16, were all thrown from their car when they crashed into the SUV.
All three men were pronounced dead at the scene on Friday.
Public Safety Director and Chief of Police, Jeff Olson, told The Courier that officers have not yet uncovered who was the driver, only adding that Showalter and Delargedelle were in the front seat at the time.
Witnesses told police that it seemed the car was traveling 80 miles an hour.
However, the posted speed limit near the crash was 45 miles an hour, according to The Courier.
Showalter’s aunt, Tracy McNamara said the car belonged to her nephew. But she said she does not know who was driving, adding that she will miss Showalter.
“Eli was an amazing boy and man, he was always fun,” McNamara told KWWL. “He’d come into a room and light it up…he sparkled.”
Delagardelle worked at a pub called the Brass Tap. The bar’s owner told the network that he was a phenomenal person and worker. The other boy, Hagenstein, was already an uncle at the age of 16.
Authorities were still not sure why the trio was speeding down Viking Road.
Olson told The Courier that the occupants of the SUV received non-life-threatening injuries.
The police chief reminded everyone that accidents could be avoided.
“We find a cause of the accident and almost every one of them, quite frankly, they are human error and if you could just take driving a little more seriously and just be a little more careful we could avoid a lot of these accidents,” Olson said.
Family members and first responders said the scene of the accident was hard to stomach.
“It’s heart wrenching…you don’t wish that on anybody,” McNamara told KWWL. “Parents aren’t supposed to have to bury their children and these boys weren’t supposed to be in an accident.”
“It could all be over in a blink of an eye. Be careful because you have family that loves you unconditionally and don’t put your parents through this,” she added.
Autopsies and toxicology results will come back in a months time.