NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones gathered at two memorial services on Sunday to remember five young adults who died one year ago in a drunken-driving crash.
The quintet — Malak Hariri, Sebastian Forero, Stephen Stoll, Sugey Cuevas and Sameer Nevarez — are being remembered as The Burbank Angels. They died on Sept. 28, 2013, in a fiery crash on San Fernando Road near the 5 Freeway. A sixth person in the car, Savannah Underwood, was the lone survivor.READ MORE: Woman Found Shot To Death In South LA, Shooting Suspect Still At-Large
A large banner in tribute to the group was displayed Sunday afternoon at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, where families met following the services.
CBS2’s Greg Mills spoke with Hariri’s parents Sunday afternoon at the Burbank Islamic Center, where one of the memorials was held.
“No words can explain the pain what I’m going through,” said Hariri’s mother, Sana. “I’m not really counting the days, but it came so fast.”
“It’s hard, but by God’s grace, we’re coping,” added Hariri’s father, Allie.
Across town at St. Finbar Catholic Church, a Mass on Sunday was dedicated to Cuevas and her friends in the crash.
“It’s been pretty hard without her, it’s hard because we call miss her so much,” said Cuevas’ brother, Cesar.
The coroner’s report said the driver’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Hariri’s brother has spent the past year speaking with students about the dangers of drunken driving.READ MORE: Man Found Dead In Dumpster In South Los Angeles
“I use this as motivation, I want to make some kind of negative into a positive,” said Mohamed Hariri.
Meanwhile, his mother reads Malak’s texts, some of them dating back to middle school, every night.
“I can’t sleep without reading her texts,” Sana Hariri said.
The Hariri family was at the cemetery Dec. 22 of last year to mark what would have been Malak’s 20th birthday, and said they will return again this year to share with her what would have been her 21st.
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