Running to Heal, Running to Help

A 20-year-old wants to share his source of strength with others

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCSanDiego
    Amanda Post (left) and Natalie Nield were killed in the accident, according to the Cathedral Catholic High School website.

    "We're all hurting, and we all need something to latch onto," said 20-year-old Jared Puente.

    It's been three weeks since Puente lost two of his former high school track teammates.

    Natalie Nield and Amanda Post were both killed August ninth when the SUV they were riding in lost control, went through the center divider and hit two cars in the oncoming lanes.  The SUV caught fire burning three other men in the vehicle, 19-year-old Derek Thomas, 22-year-old Drew Delis and 39-year-old John Adams.

    "It Just Breaks Your Heart"

    [DGO] "It Just Breaks Your Heart"
    Inside the chapel at Cathedral Catholic High School, there was tremendous grief for two young graduates, Amanda Post and Natalie Nield killed Monday night when the SUV they were riding in crossed into oncoming lanes on highway 395 near Bishop.

    The group of athletes was coming back from training in Mammoth.

    "I was like, somebody tell me this isn't true." says Puente, "Tell me I'm hearing wrong."

    Two San Diegans Killed in Fiery Mammoth Crash

    [DGO] Two San Diegans Killed in Fiery Mammoth Crash
    The victims were former students at Cathedral Catholic H.S.

    Puente ran track with the two girls and Derek Thomas before graduating from Cathedral High School.

    "Just sitting there, letting that weigh on you, I just couldn't handle it any longer," says Puente who has decided to do something to deal with his grief.

    Puente is organizing a 5k charity run. He says he initially setup a facebook page to see if there was any interest, and there are now more than 400 people who have RSVP'd.

    "Incredible," is how he describes the response, "We have people who don't even know them personally who just saw the story and were touched."

    Puente says all the money raised will go to charities already setup in memory of the victims who died and for the recovery of Derek Thomas.

    Nield just graduated from Cathedral Catholic this past Spring, and was planning to run track at Loyola Marymount.

    Post also just graduated and was planning to run for Cal Poly.

    "It can turn into a source of strength, " says Puente. "If we just remember the positive and good aspects and try not too much to dwell on the sadness."

    The run will be held at Lake Murray on Oct. 23. Puente says plans are still being made, but that the race will start around 10:30 am.