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A newly engaged couple, a passionate college recruiter and a 17-year-old whose twin sister was on the same trip were among the 10 people who lost their lives when a FedEx truck slammed into a bus full of students from the Los Angeles area.
Five of the victims in the crash Thursday on Interstate 5 north of Sacramento were teenage students en route to a college recruitment event at Humboldt State University.
As grieving families struggle to come to grips with their tragic end, California officials have identified nearly all those killed in the crash.
"I just felt like I lost a brother, I lost a family member. It hurt real bad."
Both drivers were killed in the wreck, but their identities have not been released.
Authorities said four autopsies were completed Friday, and coroners hoped to complete the remaining ones on Saturday.
Adrian Castro, 18, was a football player at El Monte Union High School. One of his teammates, Nathaniel Medina, told NBC Los Angeles that Castro would have been the first in his family to attend college.
"I just felt like I lost a brother, I lost a family member. It hurt real bad," Medina said. “He was telling me he hasn't decided what college to go to and then, he was telling me he was really excited because he was going to college."
Marisa Serrato, 17, attended Norte Vista High School. She and her twin sister, Marisol, were nearly inseparable -- but they ended up on different buses for this trip. Both sisters had been accepted to several colleges, but they wanted to attend the same school.
“They ate together, played the guitar, did their homework together, they slept hugging each other,” their mother told the Los Angeles Times.
Marisol's bus was not involved in the wreck.
"Had only one of them survived, the other would be an absolute wreck because they were two peas in a pod."
Michael Myvette and Mattison Haywood were chaperoning the students on the trip. The couple had met and fallen in love at Humboldt State University. Over Christmas, Myvette proposed to Haywood in Paris, a friend said.
Haywood planned to become a doctor, while Myvette worked as a therapist at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders.
"Had only one of them survived, the other would be an absolute wreck because they were two peas in a pod," Haywood's father, John Haywood, told NBC Los Angeles.
Arthur Arzola, 26, was a counselor and recruiter at Humboldt State. A statement released by the university praised his dedication to his work.
“Arzola is remembered by colleagues at Humboldt State for his passionate commitment to helping low-income and first-generation students get into college. He dedicated his career to that work,” the statement read.
“At this point all we can hope for is that they’re in a better place.”
Ismael Jimenez, 18, attended Animo Inglewood Charter High School. His sister, Evelin Jimenez, told the Los Angeles Times her brother was an honor student who loved to paint and draw.
“His love for art was amazing, that’s all he did,” Evelin Jimenez told the newspaper.
Denise Gomez, 18, attended the same high school as Jimenez. The two had been close friends since the seventh grade, one of their friends, Frankie Martin, told the Los Angeles Times. Martin told the newspaper Gomez loved music and played the guitar. She also led the school's Earth Club, he said.
“They were going to see their futures, and instead their life was cut short,” Martin told the Times about Gomez and Jimenez. “At this point all we can hope for is that they’re in a better place.”