Vigil held to honor Granite Hills High School student killed in - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Vigil held to honor Granite Hills High School student killed in a crash

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EL CAJON (NEWS 8) - A candlelight vigil was held Friday evening in El Cajon to remember the Granite Hills High School senior killed in a car crash on Monday. 

Authorities said the 17-year-old was riding in the back of a Jeep Wrangler that didn't have a rear seat when the crash occurred shortly after a season-ending team banquet.

The California Highway Patrol said the crash occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday, when the westbound vehicle he was riding in collided with an SUV on South Grade Road in Alpine near the gated community of Rancho Palo Verde.

The teen died at the scene of the wreck, which left four other people with minor to moderate injuries, the CHP reported.

Will was a standout defensive lineman who was recently named to the CIF All-San Diego first team defense. He also led all Eagles receivers and tight ends with 28 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns.

"I am beyond blessed to be able to have spent time with him. He was a man of character," said Burton's teammate, Jake Siegfried. 

One of his best performances came during a game against Steele Canyon in September, when he caught two touchdowns, including the game winner with 2.9 seconds left in the contest.

"He was not just a football player. He was The William Burton. A kid with a great heart and a great passion. He had an incredible ability to bring people together and make them laugh," said football coach Kellan Cobbs. 

The Granite Hills senior, who also played baseball at the El Cajon campus, is survived by his parents, Brad and Donna, and brothers, Jake and Zachary.

Attendees were encouraged to wear their athletic jerseys to the vigil, no matter the school or sport. The event took place in Eagles Quad at Granite Hills High at 1719 E. Madison Ave. in El Cajon.

Friends set up a GoFundMe in hopes of helping the family create a memorial fund in Will's memory. 

On Saturday, Steele Canyon players plan to honor Burton at their state Division 3-A championship football game against Half Moon Bay starting at 6 p.m. at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.

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