DALLAS — It was the kind of friendship that was more like a sisterhood.
"They were never apart," said Coyia Malone of her two dearest friends, Candice Anderson and Maggie Wilson. "You didn't know one and not know the other."
"Candice is still alive, and anybody who knows the two of them knows there's no Candice without Maggie. So my heart is broken for Candice," she added.
Malone and Wilson were together, as usual, on Sunday night. They ran out of gas on North Central Expressway.
They left their car on the shoulder of the Knox-Henderson exit ramp, walked to a nearby Shell station, filled a gas can, and walked back.
As they were filling the tank, they were struck by another car.
Wilson, 22, was killed. Anderson was critically injured.
The police report says one vehicle swerved to avoid them, leaving the driver behind him with insufficient time to react.
He hit the women, their car, and then another car in front of them.
"The brake lights started right at the exit," said Matthew Mullins, who returned to the scene of the crash Tuesday, remembering everything he saw, heard, felt, and even smelled.
"It was quiet; an eerie silence. I smelled gasoline and saw a gas can right beside her," he said. "Debris everywhere. Just quiet."
Mullins took the Knox-Henderson exit from southbound Central Expressway just seconds after Wilson and Anderson were hit.
"Once I rolled up, I knew something was wrong," he said. "I had that feeling something bad happened."
He didn't see the crash; the aftermath was almost too much. He saw Wilson's lifeless body and Anderson clinging to life. He said he ran to her.
"I had to go and be with her," Mullins said. "I sat down, put my hand on her forehead, and put my hand in her hand. She couldn't say anything; non-responsive. I just sat there and said, 'It's gonna be all right. Hang on. It's coming.'"
He tried to give strength to someone who friends say always inspired strength in others.
"'Stop being weak!' That was their favorite thing to say, 'That's weak!'" Malone said. They were strong girls, she said, describing them as the kind of people you meet and never forget.
"I know there will never be another person like that come into my life," she said of Wilson, adding that both come from "phenomenal families."
"We have amazing stories and we all feel blessed because we knew Maggie," Malone said. "Candice is going to need us. She is going to need us."
Malone said Candice Anderson is improving.
Mullins said what he saw Sunday night will probably haunt him forever. But it also reminded him of something.
"It was a pivotal point in my life," he said. "Just to see what I saw really brings things into context... made me realize how precious life really is."
Dallas police do not plan to charge the driver that hit the girls, saying he was not speeding and that he did stop as soon as the crash happened.
"We all have the human instinct in us to help each other. I just don't think enough of us take the time and do it," Mullins said. "We need to slow down. We need to watch out. Remember what's important."