Hundreds Gather at Pierce High School to Remember Teens Killed in Wrong-Way Crash

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ARBUCKLE-

Hundreds gathered in the small town of Arbuckle at Pierce High School on Monday night to remember two students who were killed along with their mother, when a wrong-way driver crashed into them.

"It just sucks knowing I won't have one of my best friends beside me through the rest of my high school experience," a friend of Alyssa told the crowd of mourners Monday. "We did just about anything and everything together, from shopping to sleeping in until 12, getting yelled at by our moms for doing so, staying up all night eating junk food to talking about boys or whatever was on our minds that night."

Friends tell FOX40 Alyssa was a junior and Brenda was a freshman.

"Brenda was my best friend, and not only my best friend, but she was like a sister to me... and she was showing me pictures of her prom dress and she was just so excited about life," another friend told the crowd.

Much of the small community of Arbuckle came to the candle light vigil.

Few didn't know the two teens and their mother Sofia Ramirez, who friends said was a long-time nurse in the community.

Ramirez had worked in a doctor's office in Arbuckle before more recently taking a job in Woodland, according to friends.

The California Highway Patrol said 36-year-old Francisco Garcia was driving the wrong way on Interstate 505 near Madison when he struck Ramirez's car.

Garcia, Ramirez and her two daughters were killed, while the girls' stepfather, Joaquin Sanchez, had only minor injuries.

Many in the rural community are helping Sanchez out in his time of need.
Students and businesses around Arbuckle have been collecting donations, raising more than $30,000 in less than two days online to help with funeral expenses.

"We all loved them, and we will all miss them," A friend told the crowd at Monday's vigil.

The CHP is still awaiting an autopsy report from the Yolo County Coroner's Office to determine if Garcia may have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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