One was pursuing a cosmetology license, the other a musical career -- but in an instant both 20-year-old friends were gone, killed in a fiery multi-vehicle crash on Route 80.
Julia Wells and Jalen Davis were in the back seat of a Toyota Corolla that collided with a Jeep on the eastbound side of the highway in Parsippany around 1:45 a.m. Friday, family and friends said.
They and the driver of the Corolla were killed, authorities said.
A GoFundMe launched by her longtime friend Amber Sweedy had raised more than $1,900 for Wells' funeral expenses as of Sunday morning.
A Fundly for Davis, who recently moved from Morris County to Georgia, had raised more than $6,000.
Wells, of Mine Hill, had been working toward her cosmetology license, said Sweedy, who grew up with her in Dover.
"Julia was always happy -- no matter what she was going through" she said. "She had that cheerful energy that lit up rooms everywhere where she went.
"She was always trying to fix a problem. You could always go to her if you needed to talk."
Davis was focused on a career in music, the Fundly says.
"She was such a loving spirit with the heart to serve and help people," said her mother, JoAnn Merritt. "She was the most unselfish person that I know.
"She was loyal to a fault and opened her heart to everyone. She always saw the good in everyone."
Authorities hadn't yet provided details, including reports that the driver who caused the crash was going the wrong way.
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp was expected to release further details on Monday.
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