FERNLEY, NV - The town of Fernley is at a loss. Tuesday night, 16-year-olds Alondra Rivera and Zack Dwyer were parked outside her house when they were found unresponsive shortly before midnight. The car was idling, and deputies say all the while they were breathing in deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Wednesday, loved ones said this is a tragic loss and their lives will never be the same.
Outside the teen's home a memorial grew throughout the day Wednesday.
"She was our baby girl and we had seen her an hour and a half before she passed," said Joe Wyatt, Alondra's stepfather.
Wyatt and his wife made the startling discovery Tuesday night. They found Alondra and her boyfriend Zack unconscious inside Zack's Toyota 4-Runner.
"We had to come out and find them in the truck and perform CPR on both victims," said Joe.
It's believed it was carbon monoxide that killed them. Officials investigating the deaths say there was a strong smell of exhaust inside the vehicle.
"There was a rupture in the exhaust system for that vehicle and there was a lot of exhaust spewing from the exhaust pipe that was going into the cab of the vehicle," said Lt. Johnny Smith with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office.
The couple likely felt no pain; they just quietly fell asleep and slipped away.
"A big loss. I feel like it will take a toll on anybody. it would break people's hearts if they found out about it... it's just sad," said Dakota Brewer, a good friend and one-time boyfriend of Alondra.
The community's grief was immediate. At Fernley High School, students left class to pay their respects. Later in the day many visited the site of the deaths, asking how could this have happened to such good people.
"To tell you the truth, it was an eye opener that she touched all those people. I wish I could be like that," said Brewer.
"She was a good girl. They both were good children and they had a promising future. We were talking colleges a half hour before she left," said Wyatt.
Alondra's family is working to make funeral arrangements. An account has been set up in the girl's name at Nevada State Bank: Account #0468042650.