Family, friends, classmates and members of the community will gather in East County Wednesday for a candlelight vigil dedicated to a 16-year-old student killed in a tragic head-on crash last week.
At 7 p.m., the group will gather in front of Steele Canyon High School at 12440 Campo Rd. to honor the memory of Julian Fraire.
Fraire, a junior at the high school, was killed on his way to school in a head-on collision on Mar. 20.
The deadly crash happened around 7:20 a.m. in the 2900-block of Steele Canyon Road just north of Campo Road, about two miles away from the high school.
According to California Highway Patrol investigators, Fraire was driving his Chrysler minivan south on Steele Canyon Road when, for unknown reasons, he got distracted behind the wheel and crossed the double yellow lines into the path of an oncoming Ford F-450 truck. The vehicles collided head-on and Fraire was killed in the impact.
The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the truck was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
The crash remains under investigation. Last week, officials were reviewing the teen’s phone records to see if texting and driving could have caused the crash. Speed, drugs or alcohol on the part of both drivers did not appear to be factors in the accident.
Officials said Fraire was new to driving. The teen had just gotten his driver’s license last September. One day before the crash that took his life, authorities said Fraire was involved in a rear-end collision.
Since the student’s sudden death, extra crisis counselors have been on hand at Steele Canyon High School to help students cope with their grief.
Meanwhile, the school’s Parent Teacher Organization has established a memorial fund to help support the Fraire family. Donations can be made out to “Mission Federal Credit Union – The Julian Fraire Memorial Fund,” and can be dropped off at either Steele Canyon High School or any Mission Federal Credit Union branch.