Teen passengers who survived a rollover crash in Whittier attended a school vigil for a 14-year-old killed in the wreck as one remains in the hospital Tuesday.
The 19-year-old driver, originally arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI, was cited and released. After his release, Whittier police were mounting the evidence against Daniel Vazquez to present to the District Attorney, aiming to charge him with vehicular manslaughter and DUI.
Vasquez been held at the Whittier jail on $100,000 bail, but investigators were unable to present a case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office within the legally mandated 48-hour period to either bring charges and arraign or release the suspect, Whittier police said.
Top news of the day
At the tearful vigil at LA Serna High School Tuesday, survivors in the crash — one still wearing her neck brace — embraced students as others spoke at a podium.
One student, Brandon Garcia, wept as he said Ivette Macias was the love of his life.
Macias, 14, was killed when the 19-year-old driver of the SUV she was traveling in with four other on board lost control, hit the curb and rolled over near La Serna High School, police said.
Police said Vazquez was speeding on Villaverde Drive when he veered onto the sidewalk and struck a large brick mailbox, tossing the SUV onto its roof.
Three girls and two boys were hurt in the crash.
"I looked out and then I just saw, well, a car just flipped over," Jay Lee, who heard the crash and came running, said. "And I heard a young girl, she was screaming pretty badly ... her friends weren't waking up so she was very scared, I guess. And there was actually a lot of blood."
Lee said he saw a lot of beer cans around the crash site.
A photo released showed Vasquez with his head in his hands following the crash.
Faculty and students at the school vigil remembered the girl with the "beautiful smile."
"We hope everything in life can be a lesson but I hate to say it, this is an unexpected tragedy and we're all in the early stages trying to wrap out minds around this, to lose somebody so young, so full of life, it just doesn't make sense right now," Ann Fitzgerald, La Serna High School principal, said.
A GoFundMe set up by friends of the father of Ivette Macias raised $13,000 of a $20,000 goal by Wednesday. It can be found here.
City News Service contributed to this report.