MARIETTA, Ga. - Cobb County police say a driver and his passenger were killed in a fiery car wreck Sunday shortly after 3 a.m. in Marietta.
Police have identified the driver as Stephen Nolasco, 19, and his passenger as Matthew Bennett, 18. Both men resided in Marietta.
Police said Nolasco may have been driving a silver 2001 Volvo S60 northbound on Sandy Plains Road at a high rate of speed when he lost control. The car crossed into the southbound lanes of Sandy Plains Road and struck a large brick column, landing in a tree at the intersection of Kinjac Drive. After striking the brick column, the car caught fire, killing both men.
Friends of the two men said they can't stop thinking about their final moments.
"It's just really hard to think about two really close people to me that caught on fire. I just can't look at that tree and think, those were two close people to me. There's debris everywhere and bricks," said Taylor Hill, holding back tears.
Hill said she used to date Nolasco and is a close friend to Bennett. She said Nolasco and Bennett did everything together.
Hill told Channel 2's Shae Rozzi the men were popular athletes who graduated from Sprayberry High School last year, and were attending Georgia Perimeter College together. Both are being remembered for their positive spirit.
"Stephen would actually walk around school when he was a senior. He would wear signs that said 'Free Hugs' and 'Free Compliments' and he would change between days because he would just really love to make people smile," Hill said. "Matt just always lived life to the fullest. They both were just so caring."
Police are trying to determine what activities the men were involved in prior to the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call 770-499-3987.