“I wish everything wasn’t real, but it is I guess and it hasn’t sunk in yet and I don’t know if it will sink in,” said Brandon Wojnowski.
Seventeen-year-old Shawnna Wojnowski’s brothers said they woke up to the tragic news Monday morning and spent the day trying to make sense of their loss. They just learned their sister was killed in a car crash in Brooklyn.
“I didn’t believe it. I said wait there’s no way, that’s not true,” said Shawnna’s brother Dakota Cicarelli. “I never got the chance to tell her how much I love her and how much I care for her.”
Emergency crews responded to North Society Road north of Creasey Road in Brooklyn just after midnight Monday.
“When I came down the road I seen all the cop cars and fire trucks and the first thing that comes in my head is this isn’t happening,” Brandon recalled. “I saw all their lights were shined into the woods.”
Brandon said he rushed to the scene when he learned his little sister had died.
“What I did see, the images I will never be able to get out of my head,” he added.
Investigators said the pick-up truck Shawnna was in lost control while negotiating a curve, struck a guard rail, and continued down a ditch before it caught fire.
“To know that that truck caught on fire and know that my little sister was trapped or unconscious in there and she burnt,” said Brandon.
Shawnna’s friend, Brenna Ann Larson, a fellow student at Ellis Technical High School in Danielson, also died. A third girl was rushed to the hospital in grave condition.
“She was vibrant. She was spunky, sassy, just full of life. And it’s just so sad to see her go so soon," Karaie Curl said of Brenna.
“She grew up with us. She was our little girl. She is going to so missed," Joann Arsenault added.
Although the pickup truck was registered to a relative of the teen who survived, investigators said they were unsure which girl was behind the wheel.
“We are just all in shock right now,” said Cicarelli.
He drove his sister to school every day her sophomore year.
“If I needed a pick me up she was there. When I needed someone to talk to she was there,” Cicarelli recalled.
He said growing up with four brothers, she was drawn to mechanics and planned to work on big rigs one day.
“She knew the ins and outs of any vehicle,” he said.
Shawnna’s brothers said they wish they could trade places with her.
“I love her. I wish I could see her one last time and tell her I love her,” Brandon said.
Police are trying to figure out where the girls were coming from and where they were headed.
Counselors will be available at Ellis Technical High Tuesday.
State law prohibits drivers under 18 from being out on the road between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Teens in their first year of having a license are also barred from having other minors in their car. State police said that’s one part of an investigation that could take more than a month to complete.