Avery was like my best friend, my brother. —Acacia Wilkey
WEST VALLEY CITY — Hundreds of students gathered around the flagpole in front of Hunter High School on Wednesday evening to pay tribute to two classmates who lost their lives in a car crash earlier in the day.
Jacob Armijo and Avery Bock, both 16 years old, were killed when the car they were traveling in collided with another vehicle about 12:15 p.m. just north of the intersection at 4100 South and 5600 West.
Cassidy Porter, 17, was critically injured in the collision and flown by medical helicopter to an area hospital. Another passenger, Leticia Cordero, 16, was seriously injured and taken by ambulance to a local hospital, said West Valley Police Sgt. Mike Powell.
"It's horrible," said Cheryl Rasmussen, a sophomore at Hunter High who said Bock was "like a brother" to her.
Holding a candle at the vigil Wednesday evening, Rasmussen described Bock as "sweet, funny and a good artist."
"He was someone everyone got along with," she said.
Carmen Tucker, Armijo's aunt, said she was having lunch when she received a call about the fatal accident.
"I thought it was a prank," she said. "I thought it was a joke."
Tucker said the boy's mother lost her husband four years ago.
"She had two sons, Jacob and Nick," she said. "Now there's only Nick and her."
Prior to the vigil, friends of Armijo and Bock gathered at the home of classmate Acacia Wilkey.
"Avery was like my best friend, my brother," Wilkey said.
She was with the Hunter students when they left the school for lunch and said she almost went with them.
"We were just sitting there in the parking lot, waiting for the bell to ring," Wilkey said. "They were getting in the car, going to get lunch, and were going to come straight back."
Word about the tragic accident spread quickly at the school. Wilkey said she didn't know who was involved until a teacher showed her a picture of the crash.
"When I saw the car, I knew it was my friends," she said.
Police said the blue Honda Civic carrying the four Hunter High students was traveling north when it swerved into the southbound lanes on 5600 West and crashed into a tan Toyota Corolla.
"What caused the vehicle to lose control or swerve into the southbound traffic, that's what we're looking at and trying to make a determination," Powell said.
Armijo was driving the Honda, police said, and Bock was in the front passenger seat. Porter and Cordero were in the back seat. Powell said it's unknown whether the students were wearing seat belts.
The driver of the Corolla, 40-year-old Monica Hood, was seriously injured in the collision and was taken by ambulance to an area hospital, police said.
Raul Cavazos, a junior at Hunter High, said he was in class with Armijo just prior to the collision. Cavazos and others said Armijo was angry when he left the parking lot because someone had written "for sale" on his car.
Another witness said a third vehicle, a Jeep, caused the Honda to swerve into oncoming traffic and then fled the scene. Powell said determining if any other vehicles were involved is part of the police investigation.
The section of 5600 West between 4100 South and 3500 South was closed for several hours Wednesday afternoon while police investigated the incident.
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said grief counselors will be provided to Hunter High students beginning Thursday.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the family members and friends of those impacted by this accident," Horsley said.
Contributing: Andrew Wittenberg and Peter Samore