Seventeen-year-old Armando Canales is never coming back to class.
"Yes, we saw him on Friday in class. Also, just walking around it was a normal day he was laughing with friends," said Washington High School student Brooke Allen. "Saturday really came as a shock to everyone."
Administrators said Canales was riding with four other students on Highway 17 around 2 a.m. Saturday, when an alleged wrong-way drunk driver slammed into their car head on.
Police say this is the woman who drove head-on into a car carrying 5 Washington High students around 2am Saturday. 28-year-old Ashley Marie Oliver is facing vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI charges @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/PpBEFxs0RF— Jobina Fortson (@JobinaFortson) May 13, 2019
"The woman was coming from Santa Cruz heading to San Jose. We do not know at what point that vehicle came on to the wrong side of the freeway. She was going northbound in the southbound lanes," said CHP Officer Ross Lee.
Apparently, the students were on their way to a beach trip. According ABC7 News media partner, The Mercury News, police identified the driver as 28-year-old Ashley Marie Oliver.
"She was booked on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter," said Officer Lee.
CHP confirmed that Ashley Marie Oliver was driving from Santa Cruz.
"We do not know at what point that vehicle came on to the wrong side of the freeway. She was going northbound in the southbound lanes," said Officer Lee.
Grief counselors and other resources were also on campus for students Monday. Administrators said Canales was popular and played football during his freshman year.
"Any time we lose a student in such a tragic way, it has a ripple effect around the whole community and it's just heartbreaking," Dr. Kim Wallace, superintendent of Fremont Unified School District, said.
Washington High School is using the case as a teachable moment as well. The student body is learning the tragic impacts of drunk driving first hand.
"We've found that in these situations, students really draw strength from being together," Brian Killgore, Fremont Unified School District spokesperson, said. "So, we think having them here in class, and speaking to one another is probably the best thing for them."
CHP confirmed that three out of the five students in the vehicle were not wearing a seatbelt, including 17-year-old Armando Canales.
If you would like to make a donation to the family of Armando Canales, visit this GoFundMe page.