LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. — Two teens killed in a crash Sunday night, just days before heading back to school.

A car driven by a 16-year-old boy traveled off the left side of the roadway near Missouri Route 47 west of Sun Swept Drive and hit a tree, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was transported to a hospital with ‘moderate’ injuries. Police said he was wearing a seat belt.

Two of the passengers, 16-year-olds Brayden Hood and Mario Montalvo, were killed in the crash. Police said they were not wearing seat belts. Both boys are from Troy and attended Troy Buchanan High School.

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A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured and transported to a hospital. According to the crash report, he was not wearing a seat belt.

Another 17-year-old was transported to a hospital with minor injuries. Police said he was wearing a seat belt.

This heartbreaking news hits hard for many. Monday, loved ones mourn both teens.

It was a gut-wrenching moment for Ixtla Vergara, as she visits the spot where her dear friend Brayden, lost his life.

With a heavy heart, she dropped off flowers for him. 

"Me and Brayden became close in show choir," Vergara said.

Vergara said she was trying to remember her friend for who he was, not the tragedy that took his life. 

"He was just very outgoing always himself behind others and other people happy. He was very goofy and a guy who would always put a smile on your face," Vergara adds.

Mario's family is still processing what happened to their loved one.

They sent a statement, though, to express their feelings:

Mario "Bubu" Montalvo Jr. Was a fun loving, sweet, good natured boy. He always enjoyed spending time with his sisters and brothers: Adriana, Anessa, Rosaline, and Dahlia, Alex and Leandro. He was very close to all of family especially his cousins who were like his brothers; Victor, Enrique, and Fredo. He also loved to play with his little cousins who looked up to him. He was a typical teenage boy who liked spending time with his friends and playing video games. He also liked to cook and learn to make new recipes. He was the first one to help during a family gathering.

As much as his family and many close friends are saddened, distraught, and heartbroken by the events of the night before we do not blame the driver or the other boys that were in the vehicle with him. Our hearts and prayers go out to the other families affected by this tragedy.

Two families, along with the community, are heartbroken over two lives taken too soon.

Troy Buchanan High School said they'll have counselors all week for anyone grieving or who just needs to talk. They'll be available in the Performing Arts Center from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. all week.

Mario's family has set up a Memorial Fund at First Community Credit Union under Mario Montalvo Memorial Fund, if you'd like to donate to them.

The family has not and will not be using any GoFundMe Accounts.

If you'd like to donate to Hood's family for the financial burden, here is the GoFundMe link.

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