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Friends share grief, memories of four teens killed in Chino crash

Their grief has been playing out on social media all weekend – first disbelief, then acceptance and, by Monday, appreciation for the time they shared.

On Twitter, peers of four Eleanor Roosevelt High School band alumni who were killed in a car crash Friday night in Chino remembered them for their leadership, their humor and as members of the band family.

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"This is so unreal.. rest in peace…like literally yesterday you were making me laugh at practice with all your jokes," tweeted Amber Lane.

On Friday about 8:45 p.m., a 2000 Chevy truck with an extended cab hit a K-rail on Pine Avenue near Mill Creek Avenue and was then hit by a 2013 Honda Accord. The two cars burst into flames, keeping bystanders from rescuing the passengers.

Inside the truck were Alex Horta, Nathanial Marin, Andrew Deleon, 19, and Nathan Dominguez, 18, according to media reports and postings by students on social media. Corona resident Luis Mendoza, 47, was in the second car and also died in the crash.

"Rest in peace...I will forever miss being called Squints and freshman from you guys," tweeted one Roosevelt student.

Only Deleon's and Mendoza's identities have been confirmed by the San Bernardino County coroner. The other three have to be identified through dental records because of the condition of the bodies, authorities said. Autopsies are scheduled for Wednesday.

In an interview with the Press-Enterprise, Anthony Vasquez, the uncle of Nathan Dominguez, said his nephew and the young men were just going about their Friday night routine when they were killed.

The four would hop into the truck – it was not immediately clear who was driving – and go out to get food then hang out at a friend's house until coming home the next day, Vasquez said.

Vasquez became concerned Saturday morning when his nephew did not return home, the Press-Enterprise reported.

At a vigil Saturday night at Roosevelt High School, hundreds held candles and photos of the group.

"I've never been more honored in my life to know these four guys. And for the rest of my life I will go on continuing to love them," Ryan Burgess told CBS2 at the vigil.

On Monday, counselors were at the high school campus for grieving students and staff. In a statement, the Corona-Norco Unified District did not identify the students but said the four had graduated in 2013 and asked people to keep their friends and family in their thoughts.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. It was the second crash over the weekend to kill five people.

The driver of a third vehicle involved in the crash suffered minor injuries, Chino police said.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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