Teens’ lives celebrated with hugs & tears

Celebration of Life

PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (WWNY) - There were hugs and tears as people celebrated the lives of Lexie Morgan and Gabriel Otero.

The ceremony was held at Indian River High School Thursday evening.

People who knew the two best say it didn't take long for either to make friends.

“We instantly became friends because we had the same first name,” Morgan’s friend Lexi Solar said. “We actually argued over who should be able to be called ‘Lexie.’”

Lexie Morgan and Gabriel Otero were remembered in a celebration of life at Indian River High School.
Lexie Morgan and Gabriel Otero were remembered in a celebration of life at Indian River High School. (Source: WWNY)

"As soon as we met, we were real close," Otero's friend Macaiya Scott said. "It was, like, he had that energy."

Friends of Morgan and Otero say they both had outgoing personalities.

"Gabe was the type of person that, you could be in a room full of people, and it would be so quiet," Maraina Villalobos said, "but the moment he comes in, his laughter makes everybody smile."

"We could be in a store, not even knowing people," Morgan's friend Taylor Laidlaw said. "She'll start a conversation."

Morgan and Otero died Tuesday morning after the car they were in crashed into a tree on Dutch Settlement Road in the town of LeRay.

Both were riding in the back seat.

According to friends of Otero, the two were dating and one friend says they shared a love for snack foods.

"Gabe loved his Takis and then Lexie loved her salt and vinegar chips," Villalobos said, "so, they would just buy both of them and they would throw it at each other sometimes. They were in love".

Some friends say they found family in Morgan and Otero.

"He was my brother," Villalobos said. "I didn't know him for a long, long time, but we grew upon each other."

“She was sort of like, a sister to me,” Solar said. “You know, we fought all the time, but then we would always be okay after. Yeah, I loved her like family.”

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