The last time Tamer Mosallem saw five of his school friends, he told them to go ahead without him to the beach. His father was going to make him stay home and study, he said to them.
Tamer, 17, was supposed to join Abdulrahman Alyahyan, Nozad Al Hamawendi, Cecilia Zamora, and Robin Cabrera, all 17, and Aurora Cabrera, 16, on a trip to the beach Monday afternoon in Newport Beach, Calif.
"I was supposed to be with them in the car, that's why there were three girls," Tamer told KABC. "They came to my house but my dad wouldn't let me go out because I was studying for a test."
His friends never made it to the beach: The driver, Abdulrahman, lost control of his Infiniti sedan and slammed it into a tree. The car split in half, killing four of the teens instantly when they were thrown from the vehicle. The fifth person was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.
The four passengers were all students at Irvine High School and Abdulrahman was a senior at University High School, also in Irvine.
Newport Beach police spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said investigators believe speed was a factor in the fiery crash but are still attempting to determine exactly how fast the car was going when it struck a tree in the center median.
The victims are expected to be autopsied Thursday.