CARMEL — The teenage victims of a car crash in Carmel earlier this week have been identified as best friends who were soon to become stepbrothers.

Authorities say 16-year-old James McPhearson of Levant and 14-year-old Richard Picken Jr. of Carmel were killed instantly Monday night when the car they were in struck a utility pole.

Police say the teens had just left McPhearson’s home and were headed to Picken’s house at the time of the accident.

Police say speed was a factor.

Both boys were students at Hermon High School. McPhearson was a junior on the football team and Picken a freshman. Principal Brian Walsh says the entire community is in mourning.

McPhearson’s mother is engaged to Picken’s father.