FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — The Thanksgiving day crash that claimed the life of a popular 17-year-old from Fort Worth has left members of the community still trying to cope with the loss.
Around 5:15 a.m. Nov. 28, a black Chevy Tahoe — driven by Noemi Martinez — entered the Boulevard 26 exit ramp and struck three vehicles. Killing Benjamin Castaneda as well as a dog.READ MORE: Decades Later, Family Gets Apology From Dallas Police Over Death Of 12-Year-Old Santos Rodriguez
Martinez was later arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Since then, members of the mariachi band Castaneda belonged to gathered at North Side High School to mourn the teen they said “lit up a room.”
“That was someone that I saw everyday,” sophomore Annabel Gonzales said. “I just could not believe it.”
The news of the tragedy that turned so many worlds upside down traveled quickly Thursday.
“We’re all going through similar feelings together with [this] because we were all always together with him,” junior Georgina Balderas said.READ MORE: Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Steven Weinberg Dies At 88 In Texas Hospital
Many like senior Alexis Castro remember Castaneda as a talented vocalist and violinist.
“We were a trio and we’d go around to restaurants and we’d play,” Castro said.
But more than that, his friends said the 17-year-old had a special way about him.
“He never failed to impress the crowd,” senior Lizbeth Valdez said. “All the girls were crazy for him.”
Balderas said Castaneda was a loving, kind spirit they’ll always cherish and never forget.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Injured In Shooting Involving Fight In Irving, Police Say
“We always saw a smile on his face no matter what,” she said. “He would uplift the room.”