A crash in Lyman early Wednesday killed two young women who made their living caring for others, and left behind a host of grieving family members.

Juliza McCurry and Sheri Watson, both 22, were killed when the 1999 Chevrolet Lumina they were in crashed into a tree at 12:30 a.m.

The York County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the case, said McCurry was apparently driving and lost control on South Waterboro Road near Hamilton Road, hitting a rock, flipping over and colliding with the tree.

McCurry and Watson were wearing their seat belts but were killed instantly in the violent collision. It took rescue workers two hours to remove their bodies from the wreckage, authorities said.

Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash, investigators said.

Both women were remembered Wednesday as compassionate people.

McCurry leaves behind her 4-year-old daughter Keyarrah and her husband, Arthur McCurry.

“She was a great wife and a wonderful mother,” Arthur McCurry said. He recalled how his wife, a diminutive 100 pounds, loved to play hide and seek with their daughter or go to the beach, or ride around the neighborhood on a toy “power wheel” with Keyarrah riding shotgun.

Juliza McCurry worked as a certified nursing assistant before going back to school to become a nurse, her husband said. She worked at Granite Bay Care in South Berwick.

“She loved taking care of old people, making them have something to look forward to,” he said. In her off hours, she would call some of her elderly patients who had no family, he said.

“She got really close to the people she worked with,” he said.

Arthur McCurry said he and family members are baffled by the crash. His wife was very safety conscious and philosophically opposed to drinking and driving, he said. He believes his wife was driving Watson home from a bar they had been at.

Juliza McCurry and Sheri Watson were friends in seventh grade when both were growing up in Sanford, but had lost touch. They reconnected in the last few days, Arthur McCurry said.

Watson also was a caregiver, working as a CNA in the nursing home section of Goodall Hospital, said her father Frank Watson. She was being treated for a back injury but was still working full time on light duty, he said.

She leaves behind a teenage brother and sister along with her mother, who lives in New Hampshire, he said.

Sheri Watson lived with her father, though she had a separate section of the house to herself, with its own living room, he said.

She enjoyed the outdoors, fishing with her father and riding ATVs. Frank Watson said he had been planning to teach his daughter how to ride a motorcycle. He had been after her to clean up her section of the house — an occasional point of tension between them — and she had done such a good job he was looking forward to showing her how to ride.

“It was so clean. I was so impressed,” he said.

That was Tuesday afternoon, and she said she was going for a walk. He did not see her again.

Arthur McCurry said he went to the crash site and later explained to his daughter that her mother wasn’t coming home.

“She knew what it meant when I told her mommy got in a car accident and passed away,” he said. “She’s broken down and crying. She knows.”

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at [email protected]