Manatee students remember two teens killed in crash

Students at Lakewood Ranch High School tried to begin the healing process Monday, two days after two of their classmates were killed in a car crash.

Many of the students wore black to school, then stopped by a small memorial of flowers, candles and other items that has formed at the site of the accident on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Authorities said Brendan Shreve, 17, and Jared Durant, 15, died in the crash Saturday morning.

"It affects the whole community. I have so many friends that were best friends with them, to see them hurt, it's so hard," said Chelsea Petruzzi, a 10th grade student.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Shreve lost control of his car as he drove through a curve, crashing into a tree in the median. The force of the impact split the vehicle in half.

Investigators are looking into how fast Shreve was driving.

Shreve was a junior and Durant a sophomore and both of them grew up in Lakewood Ranch. Students who knew them are trying to begin to move forward.

"It was really hard watching all the other kids because some kids you'd see, they knew them, they knew them really well and those kids were crying," said Anna McDaniel, who's in 12th grade. "It's not an easy thing watching your school be in mourning and wearing all black."

Michael Barber, a spokesperon for Manatee County Schools, said grief counselors were at the school Monday.

"It's a terrible tragedy, not just for the Lakewood Ranch High School community, but for the entire school district of Manatee County," Barber said.