Community mourns 2 Pembroke High graduates killed in crash

PEMBROKE, Mass. — The Pembroke community is mourning the loss of two young men who graduated from Pembroke High in 2016 after they were killed in an overnight crash on Elm Street.

“I was like, ‘This is just a nightmare’ because we heard in the middle of the night. I was like, ‘Nope, I’m going to wake up and it’ll be totally fine.’ I mean, it still hasn’t set in,” said Emily McCabe, who visited the scene of the crash to pay her respects Saturday night.

McCabe and many others are still in shock after hearing two of their friends died in this crash.

She says her brother was friends with Joey Birolini and Billy Hickey, and they were like older brothers to her and Riley Bowen, who also stopped by the crash site Saturday.

“They’re just amazing people, they’re really strong families,” said Bowen.

Bowen says Joey and Billy were best friends, who also played hockey for Pembroke High.

The girls left hockey pucks at the scene of the crash next to a jersey and dozens of flowers where they died.

Police say they found a car that had flipped over after hitting a pole on Elm Street around 1 a.m. Saturday.

The principal of Pembroke High tweeted Saturday:

“Our hearts are heavy today, as we mourn the passing of two tremendous Titans. While they may have graduated 5 years ago, Joe and Billy touched so many of our students and staff. On behalf of the entire PHS community, our condolences to the Birolini and Hickey families.”

“They both were so kind and genuine, they were hilarious, they had fun literally wherever they go, they had everyone laughing,” said McCabe.

Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for both of these families, a GoFundMe for Billy Hickey and a GoFundMe for Joey Birolini and at last check they have already raised nearly $120,000 combined.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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