Hundreds gather to mourn South Sound teen killed in crash

PUYALLUP, Wash -- Hundreds gathered for a vigil Wednesday night to remember a teenager who died in a terrible car crash earlier this week.

Three more passengers were also injured, and the preliminary investigation suggests alcohol and speed played a role in the crash.

Those who knew 16-year-old Diego Villegas paid tribute to a young man full of promise but gone too soon.

They gathered at Heritage Recreation Center to honor a friend at a place Diego knew well.

“When we lose someone so unexpectedly, it really stirs in us a great sense of loss,” said Nicole Moore who spoke publicly during the vigil. “There will be moments tonight of great sadness and moments of joy as we remember the great times we shared with him.”

Friends of Diego’s family say he leaned on his faith, loved to laugh and made friends easy.

“It’s hard to see the pain they’re going through,” said local student mother Danyell Kesler. “I mean, how do you process something like this?”

People wrote messages of love and remembrance. Home plate was covered with flowers and a baseball helmet.

Photos of the young man who held such promise reflected on those who knew him the best.

“He was a well-loved man, no doubt about it,” said Kesler.

Diego’s baseball team huddled for him one last time in the outfield – sharing a moment and remembering a friend.

“I thought I was going to be okay and then you see these hurting hearts, these young kids suffering,” said Kelser. "They lost a family member."