COLORADO SPRINGS - Authorities say two high school students are dead, one was arrested and another was hurt after an single-vehicle crash in Black Forest early Monday morning.
The crash happened near the intersection of Hodgen and Roller Coaster roads at about 1 a.m. Police say a 2009 Cooper Mini convertible was traveling quickly down East Baptist Assembly Road when the driver failed to stop at the stop sign at Roller Coaster Road and became airborne.
Colorado State Patrol says the driver lost control and spun off the north side of the road, through a ditch and a grove of trees before coming to rest.
Authorities believe alcohol and high speed were factors in the crash.
The driver, a 17-year-old from Parker, was wearing his seatbelt and suffered minor injuries. After he was released from the hospital, he was taken into custody.
The CSP is seeking vehicular homicide and numerous lesser charges against the driver, according to a news release.
Two of the passengers, identified as 17-year-old Beau Begier and 18-year-old Ryan Pappas, both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Begier wasn't wearing a seatbelt and died after being thrown from the vehicle. Pappas was wearing a seatbelt, but died from his injuries.
A second 17-year-old passenger suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital via helicopter.
According to a letter sent to parents by Lewis-Palmer School District, the four students were active athletes in various sports.
Monday evening, students, parents and teachers gathered at Palmer Ridge High School, where the teens who died went to school.
"Everybody in the class loved both of these boys. I considered them my brothers, and I know a lot of people involved considered them the same way," senior Ryan Best said.
For those at Palmer Ridge High School, it was not how they expected this school year to begin.
"Life's unexpectedm and it's obviously not the way we wanted to start, but the class of 2015 is very tight and very connected," said Principal Gary Gabel.
Counseling resources are available for students, families and staff. The Ascent Church at 1750 Deer Creek Road in Monument will be available Monday night as a gathering place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to the letter.
The names of the driver and surviving passenger are not being released, according to the CSP.
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