Two 19-year-old Mineola men were killed early Wednesday when their car struck a curb and then a tree in the backyard of a Roslyn Heights house, Nassau police said.
Driver Steven Clancy and his passenger, Javier Gonzalez, were pronounced dead at the scene at Oak Lane shortly before 1:30 a.m., police said.
Detectives said Clancy was northbound on Roslyn Road near Locust Lane when he lost control of his 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.
As news of the young men's deaths spread, their friends returned from college and elsewhere to pay their respects at the scene, still showing yellow police tape Wednesday afternoon.
They placed bouquets there, with one accompanying card saying "RIP Fly High."
Gonzalez had just turned 19 on Tuesday, his friends said.
"Two great kids, made everyone laugh," said their friend, Damon O'Neill.
"I just found out about this a couple hours ago, and it's just too much, too young."
Gonzalez had graduated from his high school last year, he said.
"It's just too tragic, honestly," O'Neill said.
Catia Goncalves, 18, and Chanel Iannelli, 18, walked together to see where their longtime friends had died.
"Javier was like my best guy friend, always the person that was there for me, never would turn [his] back on anyone," Gonzcalves said.
The two women, both from Mineola, cried as they struggled with the reality of their friends' deaths.
Gonzalez's family could not be reached.
A woman who answered the phone at the Clancy home said the family did not want to speak.
Police did not release other details, including what may have caused the driver to lose control.
The investigation is continuing, police said.
"It's not real," Gonzcalves said of her friends' demise. "It just teaches everyone a lesson to be careful."
CORRECTION: Catia Goncalves' name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.