2 teens killed killed in Cherokee County crash ID’d; 3 others seriously injured, deputies say – Atlanta News First

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – A deadly crash Tuesday night in Cherokee County has claimed the lives of two teenagers and left several others seriously injured.
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office says at 8:17 p.m., deputies responded to a single-vehicle crash on Towne Lake Parkway near Towne Lake Hills East. Upon arrival, deputies discovered a Mazda 6 with five passengers had left the roadway and struck a tree in the center median.
Officials say one man died on the scene. The other four passengers were transported to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital where another passenger later died.
Deputies identified the deceased victims as Gabriel Escandon, a 17-year-old young man from Marietta and Esteban Cortez-Rendon, an 18-year-old man from Woodstock.
“The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office is heartbroken by this tragic car accident and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends who are mourning their loved ones today,” they said in a prepared statement. “We ask that you keep all the families involved in your prayers.”
A third 17-year-old passenger from Marietta was seriously injured, deputies said. The 17-year-old driver from Smyrna and another 18-year-old passenger from Tulsa, Oklahoma, have seriou,s but non-life-threatening injuries.
“It is incredibly tragic and sad, especially that one car had so many kids in it and I think it’s just important for us to take this and remember to be careful when we’re driving and pay attention, even though we might be having fun with our friends,” said Olivia Heck, who saw the crash.
A lot of rumors were circulating on social media about the teens involved in the crash being students at Etowah High School, but he said one of men in the crash last attended the school in 2022.
He said that the former student was well known in the community and that grief counselors would be on hand.
The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit continues to investigate the crash. They say it appears speed was a contributing factor.
“Dear Etowah Families,
As you may know, a tragic car crash occurred in our community last night. Numerous rumors are circulating in the community, but we have received accurate information from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office that we can share with you. Two young men passed away in the crash, and three were injured. None were current Etowah students. One of the young men who passed away, whose name we cannot disclose as family notifications are ongoing, was a former student who last attended Etowah in 2022. We know that some of our students knew him, and our school district’s crisis team and our school counselors are here if they need to talk about this loss. If your child is struggling with this loss, please let us know so our counselors know to reach out.”
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