KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) – The mother of one of five victims killed in a crash near Kalamazoo says her daughter was an adventurous teen who was ready to start her senior year in high school.

Tracey Taylor said Deztanee Cobb embraced challenges, telling the Kalamazoo Gazette that the 17-year-old liked to “go hard or go home.” Cobb was an athlete who took Advanced Placement classes at Kalamazoo Central High School. She was known as “DezaBoo” and had hoped to study child psychology.

Cobb was one of five people were killed over Labor Day weekend when a car traveling about 100 mph crashed into a tree in Kalamazoo Township.

The only other victim publicly identified so far is 15-year-old Marshawn Williams. A pastor said all the victims were likely teens.

According to Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas, the group was in a Dodge Charger that went zooming by a deputy who was parked along East Main Street at around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.

Matyas told WWJ Newsradio 950 that the deputy turned his overhead lights on, intending to stop the speeding vehicle, but as he came around a bend in the road about a half-mile away, he didn’t see the car anymore.

A few moments later, at East Main and Sprinkle Road, the deputy could see an orange glow in the distance. Matyas said the deputy approached to find the Charger had crashed and was on fire. There was no chase, Matyas said. 

The crash scene was horrific. The large tree was snapped in half and all five people inside the vehicle were killed upon impact. The victims’ bodies were consumed when the vehicle ignited — burned beyond recognition — and Matyas said it would likely take days or even weeks before all five are identified.

An investigation is ongoing.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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