TAUNTON — Brendon DaRosa and Jason Neto, both 18, grew up together and shared a love for soccer.
On Sunday afternoon, DaRosa and his brother, Sean, laid roses at the site of a single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of Neto and 18-year-old Eden Macedo, hours earlier on Bay Street.
“He was just always a happy person, and he’d do anything to make anyone smile,” Brendon DaRosa said of Neto, who, he said, worked for a landscaping company. DaRosa said their fathers are also close.
Police said Macedo, Neto, and three other passengers were riding in a 2001 Honda Accord driven by Nicholas Costa, 24, when the car slammed into a tree at 1861 Bay St. shortly before 12:30 a.m.
The victims were all Taunton residents, and none were wearing seat belts, said Taunton police Lieutenant Paul Roderick at the scene on Sunday afternoon.
Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to remove all six occupants from the car, which belonged to Macedo’s father, said Roderick.
Macedo and Neto were taken to Morton Hospital in Taunton, where they were later pronounced dead.
Costa and the surviving passengers, identified as Ashley Rivera, 18, Jose Rodriguez, 21, and Chelsea Crancha, 18, were taken to the trauma unit of Rhode Island Hospital, police said.
A hospital dispatcher said Rodriguez was listed in fair condition Sunday evening, but she had no information on the other victims. The hospital said earlier in the day that Rivera and Crancha were listed in fair condition, and Rodriguez in good condition.
Relatives could not be reached for comment.
Roderick told reporters that the group had tried to get into a club in Rhode Island Saturday night and were denied entrance, so they headed back to Taunton. He did not identify the club or say why they were barred from entering. Roderick said no charges or citations had been issued as of Sunday afternoon. Police found a quart of raspberry-flavored vodka inside the car that was about two-thirds empty, he said, but officers had not yet determined whether alcohol was a factor in the crash. “The road was a little slippery last night,” he said. “Speed was definitely a factor.”
Asked whether any charges had been brought as of Sunday evening, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney’s office, Gregg Miliote, said, “I think what police said earlier is where we stand for now.”
Police were on the scene until shortly before noon Sunday taking photographs of the crash site, which was littered with debris near a group of trees by the side of the road. Part of a white fence was also demolished.
Neighbor Ed Lamarche said the crash woke him and he looked out of his window to see the red Honda wedged against a tree and two people being placed into ambulances.
Lamarche said many people speed down the street when they come off of Interstate 495.
“It’s fast here,” he said. “Too fast.” Another neighbor, Robert Dias, 81, said several police cruisers responded to the accident. “They were there all night long, just about,” Dias said.
Howard Gould, 70, said he came home with his wife about an hour after the crash to find the car had taken out part of his white post and rail fence, his mailbox, and two bushes. He said he parked in his neighbor’s driveway as police investigated.
“We just quietly went in our house,” Gould said. “There was nothing else we could do.”