MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Two teenage girls died Wednesday afternoon after falling from a floor of the Camelot By the Sea Hotel in Myrtle Beach, according to officials.
Coroner Robert Edge confirmed the deceased are a 16-year-old Daniela Alejandra Arriaza Flores and a 17-year-old Amber Franco, both Myrtle Beach High School students from Myrtle Beach.
The cause of the death was determined to be massive trauma from a fall, Coroner Edge said.
"All those things go through your head like how can this happen? Why did this happen?" said Jeff Spencer, a bartender at Bummz Beach Cafe, which is next to Camelot. "You just feel really bad for everybody involved."
The girls were on the top floor of the hotel when they fell, according to Coroner Edge. Flores fell to the parking deck on the tenth floor of the hotel, and Franco fell to the Dunkin Donuts on the second floor of the hotel. At this time, Coroner Edge does not know why they fell.
"I saw the ambulance and the truck and all that stuff," Spencer said. "People standing around. Long faces. A few tears. A lot of the whispers."
Police are investigating the deaths, and say that foul play is not believed to be a related factor in the deaths, according to Myrtle Beach Police spokesman Joey Crosby.
Police say they received the initial call for a report of two people that fell from a floor of the hotel at about 4 p.m., Crosby said. Upon responding, officers found the two deceased girls.
A statement from Horry County Schools spokeswoman Teal Britton states the loss of two female students who died Wednesday afternoon was a "tragic incident that occurred off campus." The principal of Myrtle Beach High School, John Washburn, his staff, and a crisis response team of additional counselors are "very involved following the protocols of notification and addressing to the needs of students as they process the shocking and heartbreaking news about the loss of two classmates," Britton stated.
For the students, faculty and staff at Myrtle Beach High School, they now find themselves in mourning.
Principal John Washburn said both girls were well liked at school and had many friends.
Flores was said to be a member of the school's theater department and known for always being positive around her classmates.
According to Washburn, Franco began attending the school in November, but seemed to be getting along fine. Both she and Flores were enrolled in Honors classes.
Washburn said the feeling at Myrtle Beach High on Thursday was somber, with many students trying to make sense of the loss.
Grief counselors were on campus all day to make themselves available for any students who needed to talk or process what happened.
Myrtle Beach High School is set to hold its prom Friday night, while next week, students will be out for spring break.
Washburn said he wants his students to be free to remember their classmates as they see fit.
A memorial service has not yet been scheduled, and any such event would likely take place after the students return from spring break.