Friends, classmates set up makeshift memorial for fatal Pleasanton crash that killed 3 teens

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- A vigil has been planned at Dublin High School on Sunday at 5 p.m. to pay tribute to the teenage victims of the fatal Christmas crash on Foothill Road in Pleasanton.

For much of Friday, friends, classmates and even strangers visited the crash site and set up a makeshift memorial.

Tanya Stewart, who lives in Pleasanton, says she didn't know the family, but she knows what it's like to be a parent - and that's why she came by.

"We just thought it'd be appropriate. Just a good learning lesson for him, for when he starts to drive that this is reality," says Stewart, as she hugs her young son, who is the holding flowers they brought to place at the memorial. "It could happen. It does happen. And it's sad."

RELATED: Pleasanton car crash: Family identifies twin brothers among 3 teens killed on Christmas night

The Dublin Unified School District says four of the five victims are Dublin high students. They are 16-year-old twin brothers Mark Anthony and Michael Angelo Urista, who were sophomores, and junior Javier Ramirez. The three died on scene.

Dublin High junior Samantha Arceo was ejected from the car and was hospitalized. And fifth unidentified teenage, is also hospitalized. He is a cousin of the Urista twins. The two suffered major injuries, but their current status is unknown.

RELATED: Pleasanton car crash: 3 teens killed in Christmas night crash ID'd

Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dave Marken says the community has been hit hard by the accident, especially since these students have been in the district since elementary school.

"You know, they had their entire lives in front of them. They were vibrant young men and women, and it's devastating to our schools and our community," says Marken.

He says grief counselors will be at schools on the first day back from the winter break, on January 7. In the meantime, his message to students: the importance of family.

"Unfortunately, understand that in a moment, your life can be taken, and your world can be turned upside down, so really important to love one another. Love and cherish your family," he says.

In the neighborhood around Dublin High School, families are still struggle to cope with the fatal crash.

Ten-year-old Marcelo Mendez lives blocks away from Dublin High. He says his older cousin was friends with Mark Urista and that they would come over a lot, especially after football practice. Marcelo says his dad told him about the crash. Marcelo says he will miss Mark.

"He was kind, caring, he was a really good kid. Don't know his background, but he would come around, we was a really kind, nice to me. Rest in peace."
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