A candlelight vigil was held for one of the other victims killed in a single-vehicle crash in Sacramento County on Feb. 9.
Family and friends of 18-year-old Faith Nicole Samuel gathered at Jones Park in Elk Grove to remember the young woman killed in that tragic crash.
Samuel’s foster mom, Nicole Robinson, said that Samuel was a loving young woman who loved the outdoors and spending time with her close friends.
“We’re just trying to encourage each other every day. And we’re just trying to do right by her, by faith,” Robinson said.
Robinson lit candles and posted pictures of Samuel at one of her daughter’s favorite places to pass time.
“We actually talked at this park in her car. We talked about life, we talked about her relationship. That was probably one of my best memories with her,” Emma Moran, Samuel’s close friend, said.
Moran only knew Samuel for about a year, but the bond the two shared is timeless.
“I’m sort of scared to face the emotions that come with all of this, but I want to be here and I want to be here for everybody else,” Moran said.
Moran embraced Robinson at the vigil, one week after the pair lost a daughter and a friend.
The California Highway Patrol said 28-year-old Cameron Garcia was driving northbound on Highway 160 near Freeport Road when he veered off the road and slammed into a tree.
Monte Nunn, 29, Izabelle Salaz-Stephens, 19, Curvontay Swygert, 16, Faith Samuel,18, and Aahilya Mariah Garcia, 17, died in the crash.
Garcia – the alleged driver – reportedly carjacked a woman who stopped to help and led police on pursuit through Elk Grove to Valley Hi Country Club where he was eventually arrested.
He was arraigned in Sacramento County court on Tuesday on felony vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges.
“I feel her everywhere. It’s been rough,” Robinson said. “She comes to me every day, in little signs. Tuesday, the sky was pink. Pink was her favorite color.”
Robinson now knows even more nuances about her late daughter from one-time strangers who shared their favorite stories about Samuel.
“It’s nice to get another point of view of Faith and the things that she would do and just the comparisons,” Robinson said.
The stories she heard included some from Samuel’s biological mother who Robinson met for the first time at the vigil.
“I got to meet a really special lady that gave faith life, and I’m grateful for her because without her I would’ve never even met faith,” Robinson said.
Both Samuel’s biological and foster mother here were at the vigil Thursday night, as well as her biological brother.