Photos via Polk County Public Schools
PLANT CITY (FOX 13) - Two Mulberry teens -- a brother and sister -- died in a car crash and a third teen was critically injured just hours before he was set to graduate high school.
Pepe Salgado, 18, and Frinzi Salgado-Diaz, 15, were brother and sister. Frinzi was a freshman at Mulberry High School. Pepe was a former student at Mulberry High who was currently attending New Beginnings High School.
The driver, 18-year-old Edilberto Nava-Marcos, is in critical condition. He was a senior at Mulberry High School and was supposed to graduate that evening.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, the three teens were trying to turn left onto Trapnell Road from State Road 39 when they were hit. Surveillance video from a nearby store shows the impact, a cloud of smoke, and then a third car spinning out of control to avoid the wreckage.
Occupants in the other cars did not suffer any serious injuries, according to FHP. But Frinzi and Pepe were killed in the crash.
“We are deeply saddened," offered Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students’ families."
“This is a very sad day for our school and community," added Michael Young, the principal of Mulberry High School, where guidance counselors were available to students today. "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."
Young spoke highly of all three teens involved: