Friends mourn for­mer East­side Me­mo­rial stu­dents who died

Austin American-Statesman - - OBITUARIES - By Katie Hall khall@states­man.com

The friends of two teenage car crash vic­tims sat in the grass in front of a road­side me­mo­rial on Mon­day evening, their faces il­lu­mi­nated by the two dozen can­dles among the flow­ers, bal­loons and signs.

Friends say 18-year-old An­der­son Palma and 19-yearold Bri­anna Moreno were the two peo­ple killed in the crash on River­side, near Mon­topo­lis Drive, be­fore 6 p.m. Satur­day.

They crashed into a pole, then their car caught fire, Austin po­lice said. Both of them died at the scene.

On Satur­day, wit­ness Isaac Bos­ton said he was at a nearby ser­vice sta­tion when he heard skid­ding, saw flames and then heard an ex­plo­sion. “It blew up,” he said. “The ground shook.”

Palma and Moreno were dat­ing each other and were both re­cent grad­u­ates of East­side Me­mo­rial High School, friends said.

Al­fredo Sa­mar­ripa, 19, said he grew up across the hall from Palma in Grove Place apart­ments, just down the street from where they died.

Sa­mar­ripa was on his way home from work when he got stuck in the traf­fic that the crash caused, he said. He didn’t re­al­ize it was his friend who had died un­til hours later.

He got a call around 2 a.m., learned what had hap­pened and spent the next three hours with Palma’s fam­ily across the hall, he said.

“He was a real good per­son,” Sa­mar­ripa said of Palma. “He al­ways had a smile on his face, and he was re­ally out­go­ing . ... He was al­ways down for any­thing.”

Friends of Moreno also gath­ered at the scene Mon­day.

“She was lov­ing, car­ing, out­go­ing . ... She al­ways liked be­ing around her friends and fam­ily,” her friend Jonathan Re­gal­ado, 18, said of Moreno.

AL­FREDO SA­MAR­RIPA

An­der­son Palma and his girl­friend, Bri­anna Moreno, were killed in a crash on River­side Drive, near Mon­topo­lis Drive.

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