GLENBURN, Maine — The Penobscot County Sheriff released the identities of two teenagers who died Sunday morning in a single-vehicle crash on Route 15 near the Bangor city line.
Tyler Babcock, 18, and Alex Chabre, 17, both of Bangor, died instantly in the 6 a.m. crash, when Babcock lost control of his Toyota Corolla and the four-door vehicle left the roadway and struck several trees, splitting the vehicle in half, Sheriff Troy Morton said Monday in a news release.
“Speed and alcohol are being investigated as potential contributing factors,” Morton said in the release.
Before the two Bangor teens died, one posted an image on social media app Snapchat showing Babcock was excessively speeding, according to friend Mollie Greenier, who was standing near the crash scene where others had left flowers at a makeshift memorial. Her mother, Gail Greenier, stood nearby.
“From Snapchat you can tell what they had been doing,” Mollie Greenier said, listing drinking alcohol and speeding. “It was typical teenage behavior. One Snapchat [of their speed] it was 92-point something [mph].”
Snapchat is a mobile messaging app to share photos, videos, text and drawings that disappear 1 to 10 seconds after the reader receives them. Snapchat Stories are several posts grouped together that can be viewed more than once for up to 24 hours before they, too, disappear.
Morton said the Snapchat images are part of the investigation.
“We do have it,” the sheriff said.
Word of the crash spread quickly on social media among Bangor High School friends of the two. Mollie Greenier said the two teens were real friends.
“Alex was always the life of the party. You never had a dull moment,” she said. “Tyler was so genuine. They would always be there for you.”
Her brother, Dylan Greenier, Babcock and Chabre liked to skateboard together. Over the last seven years, “I’ve fed them countless times, and they’ve slept on my couch,” her mother Gail Greenier said, adding her son is taking their deaths hard.
“He’s having a hard time believing it happened,” she said. “Eighteen is too young.”
Babcock’s sister, Ashley Babcock of Colorado Springs, Colorado, said her little brother was trying to find his way in life.
“Tyler was just going through those stages like every kid goes through, trying to find his footing,” Ashley Babcock said by text Monday. “His friends meant the world to him and he would give the shirt off his back to anyone. [He] just wanted everyone happy.”
Babcock was planning to move in with his sister in order to pursue mixed martial arts training.
“It was his motivation to become something,” Ashley Babcock said. “Both our parents are broken [hearted]. He was a very loved child.”
Post-mortem examinations were done on Babcock and Chabre, and the test results may be available Tuesday afternoon, Mark Belserene, spokesman for the state medical examiner, said by email Monday.
The deadly crash, which closed Route 15 between 6 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday, remains under investigation.
The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Maine State Police, the Glenburn Fire Department, G&H Ambulance and the Bangor Public Works Department.
Mollie Greenier said she got into an argument with Babcock and Chabre the last time she saw them.
“I was telling them to smarten up,” she said.
She said she hopes others learn from their mistakes.
“It’s just something you don’t want to wake up to,” Mollie Greenier said.