DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif.- - More than 80 people gathered at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to remember a Desert Hot Springs man killed in a crash in Thousand Palms Saturday night.
18-year-old Jose Cristales died at the scene of the crash, which was reported at 9:04 p.m. on June 27 on Varner Road in between Ramon Road and Monterey Avenue.
The vigil was held Tuesday night near the intersection of Ramon Road and Varner Road.
Itzel Arellano tells News Channel 3's Lauren Coronado that she was Cristales' girlfriend. She says she tried calling him the night of the crash, but he didn't answer.
"His mom called me, (asking) if he was with men or if I knew where he was at. I called him (and) nothing,” Arellano said.
She says she remembers him as a kind and hard working person.
"I just remember his smile. It was the most beautiful smile ever,” Arellano said.
It is unclear what sparked this collision. The crash occurred when Cristales' car traveled off the right shoulder on westbound Varner Road and crashed into a light pole. According to a news release issued by the California Highway Patrol, drugs and/or alcohol have not been ruled out as a contributing factor for the crash.
Loved ones have set up this GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.
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