A high school in Bradenton, Florida, is mourning two students who were killed in an accident while visiting Peru to celebrate their recent graduation. Albert Ales and Zachary Morris, both 18, were killed just hours after arriving in the country when a bus hit their motorcycle as they were exploring the city of Cusco, Fox reports. The two Americans died in a hospital hours after the Friday accident, La Republica reports. The bus driver was detained. "Our Southeast Community is heartbroken after hearing the unimaginable news that recent IB graduates Albert Ales and Zachary Morris passed away yesterday in a tragic accident while exploring Peru," Southeast High School tweeted Saturday.
Friends and relatives describe the pair as exceptional students. One was planning to study at Yale; the other at the University of Central Florida. As part of the school's student engineering and entrepreneurship program, they built a machine to make thousands of wooden toys, which were given to the 101st Airborne Division to hand out to children in Afghanistan and elsewhere. "Not only is it a great loss for us, it's a great loss to our country. These young men, they exemplified the best in what our school can produce and what our state can produce. They were the best," engineering teacher Richard Platt tells WFLA. (Read more Peru stories.)