Joey Meyers was supposed to start his junior year of high school Thursday at Vacaville High School.
He was killed Tuesday in a car crash on his way home from Bakersfield.
“It was really hard. I had a tough day. I don’t think crying is the option anymore,” graduate Aliyah Puerto said.
So at least for now, the tears subsided, as the friends of 16-year-old Meyers did what they loved doing best with him: skate.
“He was always one of the little kids around. He just grew up and he was always our little brother,” fellow graduate Ben Cornejo said.
The California Highway Patrol said the driver of an SUV, swerved on Interstate 5 in Bakersfield, hitting the center divide before rolling several times. Meyers, who was the passenger, died at the scene.
“He went to go visit his mom, so I was just waiting for him to come back,” friend Victoria Carter said.
But that would not come to pass.
“He’s one of those people that everyone gets to be around and everyone loves, and appreciates his presence,” Puerto said.
But as classes begin, there will be one less student gracing the hallways.
“We will have extra counselors to support the students need it,” Principal Ed Santopadre said. “Joey was just a really, really nice kid. He was very popular and very well liked around here. Somebody who was a friend to a lot of kids.”