El Cajon

‘I Miss Him — I Love Him – He's My Hero': Vigil Held for Grossmont High Student Killed in El Cajon Crash

Nearly 100 people gathered at Renette Park Sunday night to honor Gady Cruz and the other students injured in the crash

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A candlelight vigil was held Sunday night at Renette Park in El Cajon to honor the Grossmont High School student who was killed in a car crash over the weekend.

NBC 7 has learned the identity of the driver who was killed in the crash; his name is Gady Cruz, his family confirmed.

Gady Cruz
Courtesy of Gady Cruz's family
Grossmont High student Gady Cruz, was the driver killed in the single-car crash in El Cajon.

"I miss him -- I love him – he’s my hero. I believe 100-percent right now my son Gady is with Lord Jesus Christ," said Arkal Almaarouf, Cruz's father, at the vigil for his son.

About 100 people gathered at Renette Park to remember Cruz and say a prayer for the students who were injured in the crash.

"It has been really hard all my family is crying like everyone is sad," said Crystal Cruz, Cruz's sister. "It helps to know that people care about him because on Instagram I see a lot of his friends posting and making shirts of him it feels good to know that people love him."

Sunday's vigil saw many tears and candles in the name of those involved in the accident.

GHS student Bailey Lucas said this is all so tragic.

"It’s important to be here because I need to support my friends who I was just with the night it happened and it just feels surreal and I feel like I need to be the first person here because two of my other best friends were in the car with them," said Lucas.

"There was just a lot of support and just a lot of shock, a lot of people are devastated by it – I’m still processing it," said Lucas.

The mother of one of the passengers who was seriously injured in the crash told NBC 7 her son, Jiovanni Solorio Roman, is in a coma.

One teen was killed and three others were injured in a fatal single-car crash Saturday morning. The mother of Jiovanni Solorio Roman, one of the passengers injured, speaks out. NBC 7's Joe Little has the story.

The names of the other two passengers have not been released by police or the district.

A prayer service is planned for Monday at 7 p.m. at St. Michael Chaldean Catholic Church to honor Cruz and the three passengers injured in the crash.

Investigators are still working to find out the exact cause of the accident.

The Deadly Crash in El Cajon

Around 2 a.m. on Aug. 21, officers with the El Cajon Police Department responded to reports of a car crashing into a traffic light pole at the intersection of Fletcher Parkway and Navajo Road. No other cars were involved.

When officers got to the scene, they found four people trapped in a black 2018 Honda Civic. The driver of the vehicle -- now identified as Cruz -- died at the scene. The three passengers in the vehicle were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries, according to police.

ECPD investigators believe the Honda Civic was traveling eastbound on Navajo Road at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control and crashed into the light pole on Fletcher Parkway.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were factors, police said.

On Saturday, the Grossmont Union High School District announced three of its students had been involved in the deadly crash.

The district confirmed the driver was a 12th grade student who attended Grossmont High School. The district also said two of the three passengers are 11th grade students who also attend Grossmont. The third passenger is not GUHSD student.

The investigation is ongoing and the ECPD said anyone with any information regarding the crash can call police at (619) 579-3311.

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