Football Player Dies In Car Crash Before 'Best Friend' Teammate Is Found Dead From Suicide Nearby
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A teenager took his own life just hours after his best friend and teammate was killed in a car crash.
High school footballer Tyreese Smith, 16, tragically died in a car crash with his best friend Tyler Zook, 17, taking his own life after fleeing the scene of the incident.
The best friends and teammates from Lancaster Pennsylvania were involved in a crash that left another passenger, an 18-year-old female, seriously injured.
East Lampeter police confirmed they arrived to the scene of the crash at 12.13am, where Smith's body was discovered under the car which is said to have rolled over.
Police were then called to an incident just under two miles away from the crash scene at 1.45am, where they found Zook's body after he died from apparent suicide.
An investigation is currently underway to determine the circumstances of the crash, but police believe that speeding was involved.
The vehicle, a Hyundai Santa Fe, veered off into a field and rolled over several times before landing on its side. It is not yet known who was driving the vehicle, but police have confirmed the car belonged to the father of the injured female Amalie Wendt.
Smith is said to have died of mechanical asphyxia caused by multiple traumatic injuries, with his death being ruled accidental. Meanwhile the Coroner's Office ruled that Zook died by suicide.
In his obituary, Smith was described as a 'loving son' who loved sports, especially football and basketball.
His obituary read: "Ty will be remembered for his playful personality and his ability to bring joy to others.
"He had an infectious smile that naturally attracted people to him. He was dedicated to his family and will be remembered for his countless selfless acts."
Zook's obituary said: "Tyler enjoyed spending time with his teammates both on and off the field. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with family, and being at the beach."
Speaking to the Lancaster Daily Voice, Smith's mother Bernice McKenzie said: "Normally, you'd never see one without the other. They were really funny. They were always goofing around and having fun."
The pair were popular among their classmates, who shared their memories. Freshman Patience Conner said: "They're hysterical. They could make anyone laugh."
The best friends who 'couldn't do one thing without the other' had been friends for almost 10 years and played for their high school football team. The duo also worked together at a local Sonic Drive-In on East Lincoln Highway.
Conestoga Valley athletic director Dina Henry said: "My understanding is their deaths occurred under different circumstances, several hours apart. It's been very confusing, trying to make sense of this. The grief, the sense of dread, when two young kids are gone. It's so sad. It's hard to even wrap your head around it."
Fundraisers for funeral costs have been set up for both teens on GoFundMe. The pages have already generated more than $36,000.
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