Hundreds gathered at Carlsbad Beach Friday evening to honor the life of Jack Munday, a teenager whose life was cut short earlier this week in a deadly rollover crash.
Munday, 16, was killed when the SUV he and seven others were in crashed and rolled over several times on Carlsbad Village road at around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
What caused the driver of the SUV to lose control is still under investigation.
Carlsbad beach was one of Munday's favorite places to be, so it was fitting for his vigil to be held there. Some 500 people formed a ring on the beach with candles on their hands. The group was so big it was visible from Coast Highway.
Munday's mother and father shared their feelings publicly for the first time since their son's Death.
"Jack is looking down on us and he is just amazed at all the love this community has given," his father said.
"I am overwhelmed by all of the love you have given us. If Jack knew hew was loved like this he would be overwhelmed to," his mother added.
The accident has taken a heavy toll on Munday's classmates and friends spanning two high schools -- He attended Carlsbad High School but transferred last year to Coastal Academy High School in Oceanside.
Carlsbad High school Assistant Principal Julie Redfield shared this message at the vigil.
"They all have a special moment special memory of Jack and that is what they need to remember," Redfield said. "Kids need to remember good times and live how Jack would want them to live."
Friends of Munday left the vigil with a final request from his mother.
"Never forget my son and say his name, and please never forget him not tomorrow, not next year, not in 20 years."
Friends of Munday's told NBC 7 there is a paddle out planned at Tamerack Beach at 5 p.m. Saturday near Tower 35.
Five of the injured teens, including Munday, were brought from the crash scene to area hospitals for treatment. The three other teens who were in the Toyota fled the area and were found about a block away near the intersection of Carlsbad Village and Pio Pico drives. They, too, were hospitalized.
The severity of the injuries varied, according to the Carlsbad Police Department. Investigators believe at least one person may have been in the trunk of the SUV.
All of the vehicle's occupants were 16 to 18 years old. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, Carlsbad police said.
The family has put together a GoFund Me page to help out with funeral expenses.