Two Florida teenagers, who had recently graduated high school, were tragically killed while on a celebratory trip to Peru this week.
Southeast High School students Albert Ales and Zachary Morris, both 18, were exploring the city of Cusco on Friday, May 24 when they were killed in a “tragic accident,” their school confirmed on Twitter.
“Our Southeast Community is heartbroken after hearing the unimaginable news that recent IB graduates Albert Ales and Zachary Morris passed away yesterday in a tragic accident while exploring Peru,” the school in Bradenton, Florida wrote.
“Our thoughts and prayers are centered around their family and friends,” they added in their statement of the students who were a part of the International Baccalaureate “IB” program and graduated on May 18.
Our Southeast Community is heartbroken after hearing the unimaginable news that recent IB graduates Albert Ales and Zachary Morris passed away yesterday in a tragic accident while exploring Peru. Our thoughts and prayers are centered around their family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ZEzcjLF5L4
— Southeast High School (@SehSeminoles) May 25, 2019
Ales and Morris were reportedly riding on a motorcycle, exploring the city they had just arrived in, when a bus hit the two boys, according to Peruvian newspaper La República.
The teens were rushed to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to their severe injuries just a few hours later, the outlet reports.
The driver of the bus was taken to the Tahuantinsuyo police station and detained by authorities, according to La República.
At this time, it is unclear if police will press charges against the bus driver.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ales and Morris have been remembered by their school district as “bright, young men” who were planning to attend Yale and the University of Central Florida in the fall, WFLA8 reports.
Speaking to the outlet, the teens’ friends John Ferguson and Anthony Sevarino and engineering teacher Richard Platt recalled their special “charisma”, character and talents.
“They lit up any room that they were in. I mean, come on, the charisma that they came in, the confidence that they had was incredible,” Ferguson shared with WFLA8.
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“Albert was the guy that if you had a problem he was going to fix it,” said Sevarino. “Zach is just the smartest guy you would ever see. He was so confident in his speaking.”
“Not only is it a great loss for us, it’s a great loss to our country. These young men they exemplified the best in what our school can produce and what our state can produce. They were the best,” Platt added.
On Tuesday, the school district plans to honor Ales and Morris by wearing orange or a Hawaiian shirt.
“Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of knowing them or getting close to them, it would mean a lot to their friends in the graduated class and those still students at SEHS to show the love and support,” the announcement from SEHSeminoles Noles Nation reads on Facebook.
“In the meantime, please just try and think of all the good and memories of those two boys living their lives to the fullest,” they continued.
“Class of 2019 and the Seminole family will forever keep you in our hearts,” they added in a separate post.