TORRANCE ( — Friends, family and students gathered at a Torrance high school gym Thursday night to remember two best friends who died early Monday morning in a Santa Barbara car crash.

The crowd lit candles and released balloons with messages attached to honor Danielle Murillo and Jessica Leffew, seniors at North High School.

The 17-year-old girls were returning from a concert with their boyfriends when the 2005 red Mazda they were in hit a guardrail, causing the vehicle to flip over.

Seconds later, a suspected 52-year-old drunk driver collided with the Mazda on the southbound 101 Freeway.

Murillo and Leffew, along Leffew’s boyfriend, were killed. Murillo’s 20-year-old boyfriend, the driver of the vehicle, was critically injured.

Murillo’s father, Manuel, said he’s comforted by the fact that his daughter touched so many lives.

“It helps me to get through this and times when I get depressed and think I’ll never see her again, I look around and I know all her friends have a piece of her in their heart,” he said.

Just weeks before graduation, the deaths of Murillo, who dreamed of being a psychologist, and Leffew, who wanted to be a nurse, hit the school hard.

“Even though your time here was cut short, your spirits will live within us forever,” a student said. “Stay at peace my angels. You’re home now.”


2 Torrance Students Killed In 101 Freeway Crash In Santa Barbara


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