Several hundred family members and friends gathered at the Sacramento Memorial Lawn chapel the day before Thanksgiving to mourn the loss of 26-year-old Shaneel Parmar, who was killed on Friday when his sedan was hit by a pick-up truck allegedly driven by a drunk driver.
The accident happened at the corner of Calvine and Bradshaw Roads, where a makeshift memorial was visited by a dozen of friends who brought more candles after the memorial service.
Parmar was remembered by friends as a man with an outgoing personality who was also spiritual.
“He had infinite love. He always looked out for the best in everybody,” said Melvin Singh, the education director for the Shristhya Saibaba Center of Elk Grove.
“He just had that personality where he just becomes your best friend right away,” said roommate Praneet Majharaj.
Majharaj still can’t believe Shaneel is gone. It’s an accident he says didn’t have to happen.
“No matter how prepared you are, somebody else’s mistake can cost you your life,” said Majharaj.
Relatives said he graduated from UC Davis and worked for the Franchise Tax Board where he just got a promotion.
“We just bought a new house, the parents moved in, they had all these plans and it’s all shattered by a drunk driver,” said a tearful Birend Singh, Parmar’s cousin.
Many of his friends and family members are urging that people not drink and drive during the holidays. Rocky Kumar, another cousin, said his last words with Parmar a week before his death provided an eerie twist.
“‘Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s is coming, so brother please don’t drink and drive.’ And I just looked at him and just brushed it off like, ‘OK, OK, yeah fine.’ It’s ironic that he gets hit by a drunk driver,” said Kumar.
Kumar urged anyone who drinks during the holidays to call a friend, relative or a taxi instead of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“I mean walk, who gives a damn, walk you know what I mean?” said Kumar.