EL CAJON, Calif. — A 12th-grade student from Grossmont High School was killed Saturday in a solo vehicle crash, and two of the three passengers seriously injured were 11th-grade students at the school.
On Sunday afternoon, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office identified the driver that died as 16-year-old Gady Cruz.
A speeding black 2018 Honda Civic crashed into a traffic light pole at about 2:10 a.m. Saturday in El Cajon, officials said.
The car was going eastbound on Navajo Road at Fletcher Parkway when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it struck the pole, according to Lt. Darrin Forster of the El Cajon Police Department.
Officers and paramedics dispatched to the crash location reported the driver of the Honda dead at the scene. Paramedics rushed his three passengers to area hospitals with serious injuries, Forster said.
"It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol were factors in this collision and no other vehicles were involved," the lieutenant said.
Now, the crash site has become a spot for the community to leave flowers and pay their respects.
Kalades Faris was Cruz's childhood neighbor and friend.
“He was the best person ever, like, he had a big heart," said Faris in a Zoom interview with News 8.
Faris heard about the crash on Saturday.
“I just saw him yesterday," said Faris. "There’s no way. I would always see a smile on his face."
The third passenger was not a student at a Grossmont school, officials said.
"Our district is working closely with the El Cajon Police Department as their investigation of the incident continues," a Grossmont Union High School District official said.
"As our school community begins to deal with this tragedy, our district will be providing additional grief support on campus at Grossmont High School and will also make it available to students throughout our close-knit GUHSD community," the statement continued.
The district itself said it was not immediately releasing the identities of the students or their conditions.
El Cajon police urged anyone with information regarding the crash to call them at 619-579-3311.
A prayer service was scheduled for Monday afternoon but has since been canceled. Organizers said, "Threats of violence were made about Monday night's event."
According to social media posts, a funeral service for Gady is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. at Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon.