LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – A young man’s death in Littleton may have come during a street race.

Evan Carlson, 18, was in a Suburban on Saturday night when he apparently lost control and crashed the SUV into a tree on West Mineral Avenue. Littleton police said the crash happened while the car was going at a high rate of speed.

Witnesses also said Carlson might have been street racing, and police are questioning people who were in a separate vehicle in the area at the time.

A tribute to Carlson was set up next to a fence by the road where Carlson died. It includes candles, balloons and a football helmet. Carlson recently graduated from Heritage High School and was on the football team.

“It was just horrible. It’s terrible,” said Justin Hickman, who befriended Carlson while lifting weights. “I feel really bad for their family. That’s just tragic.”

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Nate Reid said street racing is “a real issue,” with several incidents reported over the last year.

“We have problems with it all over the metro area,” he said. “People feel like they need to flex their vehicle’s muscles, and often times it ends in tragedy.”

“Going 80 miles an hour down a side street or 80 miles an hour interstate, something bad is going to happen,” Reid said.

Anastasia Houtsma, a Littleton-area teen, told CBS4 she has learned a lesson from the death.

“I’m going to get my license soon,” she said. “It definitely makes me think I should be a safer driver so it doesn’t happen to me.”

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