Students grieve loss of three teens killed in wreck

From left to right, Osbaldo Avila, Juan Valesquez, Jose Arreola, all died in a tragic crash in Porter Wednesday early evening.

September 29, 2011 7:19:52 PM PDT
Three teens were killed and another two were injured after their car smashed into a tree in Porter.

The accident happened Wednesday evening as five high school students were traveling southbound on Sorters Road.

"They did go off the roadway....ultimately losing control, coming back across the roadway and entering this residence, the front yard," a DPS deputy at the scene said.

The car then smashed into a tree and flipped over.

Jose Alberto Arreola, 17, died at the scene and Osbaldo Avila, 18, and Juan Manuel Valesquez, 17, were pronounced dead at area hospitals.

The other two teens, who have been identified as Joel Jonalie Alarcon, 17, and Julian Avila, 16, were treated for minor injuries at Kingwood Hospital then released.

All of the victims were students at Porter High School.

"I don't know what to say," said one student. "He was a great guy."

Deupties say Valesquez was the driver. Arreola and Avila were sitting in the back seat.

So far, no charges have been filed. Detectives say they won't know whether any substances or alcohol were a factor in the accident until autopsies are completed.

New Caney ISD issued the following statement late Wednesday evening:

    "New Caney ISD is deeply saddened by the news that five of our students were involved in a deadly accident this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students fighting for their lives and with the families of those who lost theirs at such a young age.

    "The New Caney ISD family is a close family, and this tragedy will affect us all. All available counselors in our district will be at Porter High School Thursday to help students who may seek guidance and comfort through this difficult time. The crisis team from Montgomery County Youth Services will also be on hand for as long as students and staff may need them."

Student Melanie Gutierrez voiced her disbelief, "I basically feel like they're still coming to school."

Dr. Ken Hodgkinson, Principal of Porter High School says grief counselors are meeting with students. About 100 students have remained in the 'quiet room' the campus has for those who need a place to mourn.

"We're here for the students. They are our main priority right now," said Dr. Hodgkinson. "I would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of sympathy from the community. Please keep the families of Jose, Juan and Osbaldo in your thoughts and prayers."

"It was quite shocking, honestly, because we had just barely got out of school when it happened," said one boy.

An account for the families to help pay for expenses has been set up at a Chase Bank, 20798 FM 1485 in New Caney. To make a donation, checks should be made payable to "for the benefit of the Arreola, Avila and Velasquez Families" with the account number 947756391. Cash will also be accepted. Donations will be accepted at any Chase Bank branch office. For questions, contact Norma Bell at (281)689-1104 or PHS at (281)577-5900.

ABC13 worked with Houston Community Newspaper's Conroe Courier on this story.

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