Teens who died after Burnaby-New West crash identified as Samir Ali, 18, and Yasbrat Habtamu, 17

Friends and family have identified the two teenagers who died following a horrific crash on the Burnaby-New Westminster border Tuesday night as 18-year-old Samir Olyad Suleiman Ali and 17-year-old Yasbrat Habtamu.

Both teens died in hospital after the car they were travelling in was hit by another vehicle that had sped away from a traffic stop, authorities said.

Ali was described in an online fundraising page as “a beloved member of his community in East Vancouver.”

“Samir was known by all as compassionate, friendly, bright and wise beyond his years,” the page read. 

“He regularly volunteered in his community, and most important to him in his life were his faith and the work he did with children.”

Habtamu was described in a separate online fundraiser as “a great role model for his younger siblings and community members.” 

A memorial is pictured Thursday near 10th Avenue and 6th Street on the border of Burnaby and New Westminster, B.C., after a crash left two teenagers dead. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The page, which was written by a family friend, says he was awarded player of the month for his soccer club team in March and recently made the Burnaby District Metro Soccer Men’s team. 

CBC News learned Habtamu’s identity through the online fundraiser, which named him as Yasbirat Ytatek. 

CBC learned Ali’s identity through the online fundraiser and through conversations with friends and family. 

Police previously said the victims were a 17-year-old from Burnaby and an 18-year-old Vancouver resident. 

Traffic stop precedes crash

The crash happened after Metro Vancouver Transit Police tried to conduct a traffic stop on a Nissan Altima just after 11 p.m. PT Tuesday, authorities said.

Police say the vehicle “fled at a high rate of speed” and was located within five minutes a few blocks away at 10th Avenue and Sixth Street on the Burnaby-New Westminster border, where it had caught fire after crashing into a Toyota Yaris.

The two teens in the Yaris were taken to hospital, where they died from their injuries. 

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