DENVER - Three young men are dead and two in critical condition after their car crashed and hit a tree on S. Irving Street near Jewell Avenue Sunday night.
Police said Monday they believe alcohol and speed were factors in the accident, and that the five men were not wearing seatbelts. Police said alcohol containers were found at the crash scene.
Friends and family said the ages of those involved ranged from late teens to early 20s, and at least two were high school students.
Police identified the victims as Brian Eli Alvarez, 20; Bryan Moreno, 18; and Nicasio Flores, 20. For all three, the cause of death was an accident causing blunt force injuries.
A roadside memorial with flowers and candles continued to grow Monday at the crash site. Blanca Flores was there for her brother, Nicasio.
"(He) always put down money for my mom and the family," she said. "Always made sure there was food on the table. I have three other brothers, (including) a baby brother, and it's going to be hard without him."
It was right around 9:30 p.m. Sunday when police say the driver of the car ran a red light, lost control and hit a tree in the median. The car rolled on the driver's side and killed the driver and front passenger. All three of the passengers in the back seat were taken to the hospital, where one passed away.
Police are still trying to determine where the car was coming from and where it was going. Witnesses said the car was by itself, so officers do not believe the victims were racing or being chased by another vehicle.