DUBLIN (KPIX 5) — The turnout at the candlelight vigil on Sunday was huge and was a testament to the great impact the three Dublin High School teens killed in a Christmas day car crash had on the East Bay community.
“He always wanted the best for everybody and he was just such a good person you know, anytime you were upset he would make you laugh, so you’d be happy and it’s just really sad,” said Dublin High School student Karlie Banta.
Banta was speaking of her best friend Javier Ramirez and she broke down. She was one of hundreds who gathered with heavy hearts at Dublin High School to pay their respects to Ramirez and twins Mark Anthony Urista and Michael Angelo Urista. They were all 16 years old.
“It’s just heartbreaking to see them one day and then they’re gone the next, they were just so joyful and always smiling and always happy,” said student Laila Briscoe. “There was never a time when they were separated, so it’s just sad to see them all go at the same time.”
The crash happened just before 10 p.m. on Christmas. Five teens were in one car traveling south on Foothill Road just North of Castlewood Drive. For unknown reasons, the car crossed the northbound lane, hit a power pole and then a tree. The three teens died at the scene. Two others were ejected and are hospitalized with major injuries.
The CHP said the initial indication is that alcohol was not a factor in the crash, but a final determination won’t be made until there’s further investigation.
“It makes me more aware, more grateful, because he didn’t even make it through winter break and it’s so sad,” said Zaina Shaikh. “It makes me grateful that I’m still alive and I’m going to be a lot more careful with the way I do things.”
Mark Anthony Urista’s girlfriend shared memories of their relationship at the podium. Others held candles and held onto each other as they paid tribute.
“People might not have known the boys that have died, they still want to show their support and show how good of a community we have here,” said student Grace Gomez.