Two separate memorials of flowers, photos and candles are growing in Linda Vista for a teenager and a 21-year-old University of San Diego student who died after their two cars collided head-on late Friday night.
Marc Anthony George III, 17, was driving along Genesee Avenue in a Toyota Camry alongside another teenage driver in a Nissan Altima when the two collided at about 11 p.m. near Linda Vista Drive, the San Diego Police Department said.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Ed Kinnamon said witnesses reported the cars were either racing or speeding up the street when the initial crash occurred.
The crash sent the Camry out of control. It then collided head-on with a Mazda 3 driven by Haley Kaede Takeda, 21, SDPD said.
When rescue crews arrived, at least two of the cars were so crushed from the impact that first responders needed to cut the doors and pillars off the vehicles to reach the people inside, Kinnamon said.
At least 10 people were injured from within the three vehicles; the most serious injuries were among the people involved in the head-on crash between George's vehicle and Takeda's.
Both George and Takeda were transported to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries. SDPD said. Both did not survive.
Of George's three passengers, two sustained serious injuries. The two additional passengers in Takeda's Mazda all suffered life-threatening injuries. All were taken to nearby hospitals. Their conditions were not known on Monday.
The two passengers and teenage driver of the Altima had minor complaints of pain and were not taken to hospitals.
Haley Takeda Remembered as Vibrant USD Student and Passionate Friend
The words used to describe Takeda only paint a picture of a vibrant young woman who was "passionate about everything she did."
“Haley was dedicated, she was passionate about everything she did and she was so motivated and she inspired others, empowered others to step up,” said James Spray, Takeda’s former high school boyfriend who still lives in the town where they grew up outside San Francisco.
Spray said even in high school, Haley was always helping others. She helped raise money to help families in South America and was always coming up with ways to make people’s lives better.
He told NBC 7 via Zoom that he’s glad they had that time together and said he would always remember the good times and try not to dwell on Takeda’s tragic final chapter.
In a letter to students and faculty on Sunday, the University of San Diego confirmed Takeda was a "very active" student in their community.
Takeda was a senior majoring in International Business and Spanish, with a minor in Business Analytics. She was a member of the school's dance team a diversity and inclusion officer with the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta and a member of several student business organizations.
"Our prayers are with Haley and her family during this difficult time," USD Vice President of Student Affairs Carmen Vazquez said in a long letter to USD community, which also offered grief counseling and other support services to those who may be affected. "It is my hope that each of you will join me in prayerful support of her family and those who grieve her death."
A mass was held on the USD campus in Takeda's honor on Monday. The crash happened about three miles from the USD campus.
Marc Anthony George III Was Good Kid Who Made a Mistake, Friend Says
George, who went by the nickname "Jiggy" had just played his first football game for the Kearny High Comets just before the tragic crash.
Curtis Whitehurst, a father of one of the teen's friends, recalled pulling up to the scene on Friday night after his son recognized the cars involved had been carrying some of his friends.
"All of it is just a real tragedy but the innocence of those ladies just coming up the hill," said Whitehurst said. "And I hope that these teenagers can see that every day is a blessing."
“It’s a learning process now for the kids that are still here,” said Whitehurst. “It’s a learning process because now they know what could happen to them.”
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