Pennsylvania Teen Commits Suicide Shortly After Best Friend Is Killed In Car Accident

A 17-year-old football player from Lancaster, Pennsylvania took his life shortly after his best friend was killed in a car crash earlier that evening — and police have determined both teens were involved in the crash.

In a press release, the East Lampeter Township Police Department revealed they responded to a single vehicle crash involving a rollover at 12:13am on June 25. They found a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe on its side and located a 16-year-old passenger, later identified as Tyreese Smith (right), “under the vehicle, deceased.” An 18-year-old passenger, Amalie Wendt, was also at the scene and treated for “serious injuries.” She’s since been released from the hospital.

According to police, it was determined that after leaving the roadway, “the vehicle then rolled several times before coming to rest in the field.” Per local reports, Smith died of mechanical asphyxia due to multiple traumatic injuries in the crash and the coroner’s office ruled his death accidental.

While at the crash site, police were then dispatched to a shooting at a residence about a mile away at 1:54am, where they found a 17-year-old “deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” The teenager was later identified as Tyler Zook (left) — and police determined he was also “an occupant of the Hyundai at the time of the crash.”

So far, there are no details on who was driving at the time of the incident, but the car belonged to Wendt’s father.

Smith had just completed his sophomore year at Conestoga Valley Senior High School, while Zook was headed into his senior year. Wendt, per police, had recently graduated. Zook and Smith were both on the varsity football team.

Speaking with Lancaster Online, Smith’s mother described son Tyreese and Tyler as the best of friends. “Normally, you never saw one without the other,” she told the publication. “They were really funny. They were always goofing around and having fun.”

“Ty will be remembered for his playful personality and his ability to bring joy to others,” read his obituary. “He had an infectious smile that naturally attracted people to him. He was dedicated to his family and will be remembered for his countless selfless acts.”

Zook’s obituary says he was “preceded in death by his best friend, Tyreese Smith, of Lancaster,” adding that “his favorite place to be was on the football field.” His obituary continued, “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.”

GoFundMe pages have been started to help cover funeral costs for both Smith and Zook.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.

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