MULBERRY, Fla. (WFLA) — It was supposed to be a night of joy and memories for students at Mulberry High School. The class of 2017 was set to graduate, but instead of celebrating their accomplishments, graduating students were left mourning three classmates.
Edilberto Nava-Marcos, 18 was on his way to the ceremony with two passengers in tow, Pepe Salgado, 18, and Pepe’s sister, Frinzi Salgado-Diaz.
Nava-Marcos was driving a 2002 Corolla on State Road 39 when he made a left turn onto Trapnell Road and crossed into the path of a Honda Civic being driven by Danisia Fontanez, 28, of Plant City.
The two cars collided and Nava-Marcos was left critically injured. His two passengers, Salgado and Salgado-Diaz were killed.
Rodolfo Castro, a student at Mulberry High School knows the victims, but tells News Channel 8 he was not made aware of the crash until after the graduation ceremony.
“It was heartbreaking knowing that Eddie couldn’t make it and Frenzi, I was in the band with her and that was heartbreaking knowing that she going to part with us anymore,” said Castro.
A number of students have been in and out of the hospital to check on their friends.
The school principal issued the following statement regarding the tragic incident:
This is a very sad day for our school and community. We are mourning the loss of Frinzi and Pepe, and are praying for Edilberto as he remains in the hospital. Our hearts go out to their families.
Frinzi was a friend to everyone at Mulberry High. She had a great smile, a positive attitude, and worked well with her classmates. She also loved her agriculture class and enjoyed working with animals.
Pepe was a former student at Mulberry Middle and Mulberry High. We knew him as a talented athlete with a passion for soccer. He loved his family deeply. Pepe was outgoing and had a great sense of humor. He also was a focused young man who was determined to better himself.
‘Eddie’ is well-liked by his peers and has a wonderful, bright smile. He is respectful of everyone, and his teachers say he is a hardworking student who is very diligent in his studies. He also loves soccer and played for Mulberry High this year.” From Michael Young, Principal of Mulberry High School.
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