DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Students at the Townview Magnet Center in Dallas headed back into the classroom on Monday morning without one of their classmates. Fabian Gonzalez died in a car crash over the weekend, and his friends are among those mourning the loss.
According to police, Gonzalez was driving too fast around a curve early Saturday morning when he lost control of his Chevrolet Tahoe. The car rolled and hit another vehicle and a utility pole along Walton Walker Boulevard, near Ledbetter Drive. Two people inside of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital. Their injuries were not life threatening.
Sal Salinas grew up with Gonzalez, and was with him in the hours before the wreck that took his life. “His name was Fabian, but we called him Fabo because that’s what I knew him by since I first met him,” Salinas said. “Fabo, Fabo, Fabo.”
According to Salinas, a group of about 10 people were hanging out together, but they were not drinking alcohol. Gonzalez was in a hurry to get home because it was past his curfew, Salinas explained. “He knew that he had to be home by 12,” the friend said. “I don’t know why he was so upset about getting home by 12 o’clock, but I remember him saying, ‘Dude, I’ve got to get home because I’ve got to help my grandpa at the ranch, and I’ve got to volunteer.'”
A memorial was held for the 18-year-old student on Sunday night. His grandfather said that the teen loved basketball, and he had just received a full scholarship to go to business school at Northwood University. “He was a dreamer. He lived his dream up until the day the good Lord took him to be with him,” the grandfather said. “He had a smile that would light up the room.”
“I remember he got a letter and he brought it to me and said, ‘Bro, I’m going to college,'” Salinas recalled.
“Fabian had a major impact on everybody’s lives,” said long-time friend Anthony Cruz. “He was the most energetic, happy… I’ve never seen that guy sad, man, and obviously he brought us all here together because he’s family. He’s family to us.”
The school band rehearsed Monday morning with heavy hearts. Gonzalez played the quints. “It was unreal, coming to practice, not seeing him,” said bandmate Warren Carr. “It just really hurts.”
“He was a good person,” added bandmate Zachary Shelton. “He worked hard. He always pushed his limits. He always wanted to better us.”
Even band director Dean Hill said that he is having a hard time with the loss. Gonzalez was a good student, Hill said, a good musician and one of the group’s leaders. But his death can be a lesson about safety. “Dangers of automobiles,” said Hill.
Gonzalez had many friends at the school. Counselors will be available this week for grieving students. Meanwhile, police are still trying to determine the exact cause of the crash.
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