PUYALLUP, Wash. - Dozens of teenagers were grieving Tuesday at one spot, by a tree, in some way to feel close to Diego Villegas.
“He was such a good person inside and out,” friend Molly Wolcott said.
Flowers and a cross now sit at a tree shattered by the crash that claimed Diego’s life.
The image of the crumpled up Honda is hard to stomach.
Puyallup Police say the 16 year-old was driving Eastbound on W Stewart around 1:30 in the morning with 3 other teenage boys in the car. Police say the friends suffered minor injuries and are expected to be ok.
Two of the teenagers who survived go to Puyallup High School and the other goes to Orting High School.
“Alcohol and speed was a factor in this collision,” Capt. Ryan Portmann said.
Portmann says the department’s preliminary investigation reveals that Diego was at a small house party before the crash. Police say he consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Investigators say right before the crash Diego was trying to pass a car in front of him and the teenager was going up to 85 miles per hour on the 35 mile per hour road. He lost control and crashed into the tree.
“You could hear a screech that lasted a good few seconds, that sound you can’t get out of your head,” witness Dana Nuber said.
Nuber says she can sleep through the train that passes by W Stewart but she says the crash was so loud it woke her up.
When she walked outside, the shock set in.
“The image alone that we saw was so hard to get out of my mind,” Nuber said.
“It hurts so badly to see someone I knew disappear, you know,” Wolcott said.
Wolcott goes to Rogers High School, the same school Diego attended.
He was a baseball player and a popular young man. Friends say he was kind and happy.
“Just pray for that family, pray for his brother, probably him and his mother are probably going through so much right now,” Wolcott said.
Wolcott says Diego has a twin brother and many are thinking about his great loss.
Puyallup Police say the tragedy is a reminder to all teenagers to drive safely. They also want families to follow the intermediate licensing rules. It’s a license for beginner drivers and that is what Diego had.
Intermediate drivers cannot drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. They also cannot carry passengers under 21 years old with the exception of family members.