Mourners sported red shirts Tuesday in honor of 17-year-old Jeremiah Ramirez, who died Sunday in a fatal hit-and-run crash as he was skating home in Redlands.
Ramirez is commonly described as an upbeat teen with a caring heart who would put a smile on his loved ones’ faces. He was looking forward to graduating high school in just a few months.
"Jeremiah was a character, a class clown at school," the teen’s uncle, Roman Torres said.
In photos shared by his friends and family, Ramirez was often smiling widely. He is remembered for being a loving big brother and a wonderful son to his parents.
On Sunday at approximately 9:30 p.m., a vehicle struck Ramirez as he was skating home near the intersection of Redlands Boulevard and Bryn Mawr Avenue.
"He just plowed through, took my nephew out and left him for dead," Torres said.
Ramirez was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.
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"He was a loving person and he just affected every single person he came in contact with," the boy’s father, Conrad Torres, said.
The Orangewood High School student leaves behind his devastated family members and friends.
"He was always there for people," Ramirez's friend Schuyler Mulkins said. "He had a lot of friends and people who cared about him."
Grief counselors have been available at the high school to help students and staff deal with the sudden loss.
"The principal at Orangewood said he was well-liked by his teachers and students. It’s been a travesty for us," John Best of the Redlands Unified School District said.
As loved ones mourn Ramirez’s death, they also seek justice and demand the driver responsible for the fatality to come forward.
Although a detailed suspect description is not available, police are seeking the driver of a dark-colored SUV.
Anyone with information on the crash is encouraged to contact Rancho Cucamonga Station’s Major Accident Investigation Team at 909-477-2800.
If you would like to donate to a GoFundMe account set up for Jeremiah, you may do so here. Note that GoFundMe deducts 2.9 percent of all funds raised, plus 30 cents per donation, in the form of payment processing charges.