FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Two people were killed in a single-vehicle accident in Fayetteville late Monday night.
The two who died were identified by Fayetteville Police as Christopher Elijah Gutierrez, 18, and Atalaya Camilla Thompson, 19. Both teens are from Fayetteville.
Sgt. Anthony Murphy with the Fayetteville Police Department said the accident happened at 2357 Old Wire Road at 11:34 p.m.
Police said Gutierrez was speeding when passing a construction area on East Stewart St. and crashed into a John Deere front loader.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I don’t know what could have possibly happened, but we weren’t given any further information what caused it and what lead to the speeding," said Thompson's cousin Valerie Ann. "My first thought maybe an argument or something."
Thompson graduated from Fayetteville High School last year and had planned to join the army.
Ann says Thompson was a beautiful young girl who was taken from the world far too soon.
"I’ve known her since she was a baby; obviously she was way younger than me," Ann said. "But I lived with her aunt for some time, babysat them, her and her brother, and we have a lot of memories that we have created, and it’s just hard to think about it now, ya know.”
One of Thompson's best friends, Lexie Rice, says they met on the first day of high school. She said Thompson was a fearless, loving woman.
"She was just like a beautiful flower to me, very soft, like a rose," Rice said. "Very soft but she had thorns when she needed to be strong. She was a very strong woman who could hold her own and take care of herself."
The family says Gutierrez and Thompson just recently began dating, but they had never met Gutierrez.
A Facebook fundraiser has been created by Thompson's family to help with funeral costs.