A Pennsylvania teenager took his own life after he fled the scene of a car crash that killed his 16-year-old best friend, who was also his football teammate in college, police said. Tyler Zook, 17, a high school football player from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, committed suicide in the middle of the night hours after his friend Tyreese Smith, 16, was killed in a crash.
A third person, Amalie Wendt, 18, another of Zook's friends, was also seriously wounded in the crash. Zook, who was at the wheel, lost control of the car resulting in the deadly crash. Police said, his body was found an hour later at some distance from the scene of the crash.
According to police, three friends Zook, Smith and Wendt were traveling in a Hyundai Santa Fe. Zook was believed to have been driving the vehicle but it still remains unclear. Suddenly the car veered off the road and crashed into a field in East Lampeter Township, according to Lancaster Online.
According to the outlet, Smith sustained serious injuries and died of asphyxiation after the vehicle rolled multiple times and landed on its side. Wendt too was seriously wounded and was taken to the hospital.
However, Zook, who police believe, wasn't that wounded, fled the scene leaving dead his friend Smith and a wounded Wendt. However, less than an hour later Zook took his own life. He was found dead by police about an hour and a half after the deadly crash.
Police believe the car appeared to have been speeding, when it veered off into a field, rolling several times before coming to a stop on its side. Police have also not revealed much regarding Zook's self-inflicted death and the identity of the car's driver.
However, some reports claim that the car was owned by Wendt's father. The Coroner's Office confirmed Zook's death was suicide.
Zook and Smith have been friends for a long time. They had played football together for over 10 years. The two were also readying for the fall season at Conestoga Valley Senior High School in Lancaster, where Smith was an outgoing sophomore and Zook had just concluded his junior year.
Zook was an offensive lineman and defensive lineman in the team's Class of 2023, according to the Lancaster Daily Voice.
"Tyler enjoyed spending time with his teammates both on and off the field. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time with family, and being at the beach," his obituary read. "Tyler was preceded in death by his best friend, Tyreese Smith, of Lancaster."
A grieving classmate claimed that the two friends were employed as cooks at a Sonic Drive-In and had been there on Friday night before the accident.
Classmates rushed to a makeshift memorial set up close to their high school, which included a cross made of wood boards painted in the school's red and blue colors, flowers, balloons, and photos.
"They're hysterical," Patience Conner said of the pair as she held a vigil Monday afternoon, according to the outlet. "They could make anyone laugh," she told the website, adding the pals "couldn't do one thing without the other."
"Tyreese was very funny," Lancaster County Academy sophomore Karyssa Rosa said. "He was a really good people person. He liked to talk to everyone and he was always there for everybody. And he was just a good person all around. He was always trying to help other people."
Wendt, the third youngster involved in the collision, was reportedly treated for serious injuries before being discharged from the hospital.