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Police ID two teens killed in West Hempstead crash

Flowers left near the scene of the crash

Flowers left near the scene of the crash Thursday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County police have identified the two teenage passengers killed early Thursday in West Hempstead when their vehicle crashed into a parked nursery truck.

The victims were identified as Amanda Arguinzoni, 17, of West Hempstead, and Curtis Caesar, 19, of Hollis, Queens, police said.

The crash occurred at 1 a.m. as the 18-year-old female driver of a BMW SUV was heading north on Westminster Road and crashed into the parked truck near Fairlawn Avenue, authorities said.

The SUV turned over several times, ejecting Arguinzoni and Caesar, who were pronounced dead at the scene, said Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, who leads the department's homicide squad.

"We think speed is a factor in this accident," Fitzpatrick told reporters Thursday as he stood in front of the crumpled SUV. "We are still continuing to investigate, but right now, there's no criminal charges."

The SUV's driver, who was not identified, was taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said.

Friends of those in the crash gathered near the site Thursday.

Joseph Ainsworth, who said he is the pastor of the church attended by the Caesar, called him "one of our favorite young men of the church" and "very easygoing."

"We're praying for the family at this difficult time," Ainsworth said.

With Joan Gralla

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