Family and teammates mourn Cal soccer player's spring break tragedy

BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) -- More than two days after a Cal student was reported missing while on spring break in Los Angeles, on Monday, Eloi Vasquez-Margolin's family confirmed news he was hit and killed while walking along an LA freeway early Saturday morning.

Monday afternoon, members of Cal Athletics talked to the media after they got the news.

"As you can imagine, this has been an extremely difficult and trying period," Associate Athletic Director, Wesley Mallette, said in halting speech.

"I loved Eloi," said his coach Kevin Grimes, holding back tears.

The 19-year old Cal freshman was with soccer teammates at a fraternity party on the USC campus Friday night. He left the party, and appeared to get lost. He called a friend in Berkeley at 1:57 a.m. and again at 2:19 a.m. Saturday.

"He sounded very scared and worried," explained Aurora Cardenaz when KTVU spoke with her Sunday night. "He said, yes, he was drunk. He just didn't know where he was," she said. "And all of a sudden the phone hung up."

Just four minutes after the last call dropped, a car hit and killed Vasquez-Margolin while he walked along eastbound Interstate 10 in Los Angeles. He was a mile and a half from where he left friends at the USC fraternity party; a 25 minute walk.

Missing persons posters went up around the campus, but it took more than 48 hours for LAPD to identify the face on the posters as the victim who was hit on the freeway Saturday morning.

The LA County Coroner's office said Vasquez-Margolin's hyphenated last name, which he didn't always use, led to some confusion and prevented authorities from identifying him sooner.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Friends and teammates at Cal were in shock.

"He always had a way of making you laugh," said Cal soccer player Alex Mangels. "He brought energy to the room."

His coach said Vasques-Margolin had an unparalleled work ethic and talent.

"You could just tell he was such a bright, wonderful young man," remembered Grimes. "So mature for his age."

With dreams of playing pro one day, Coach Grime said Major League Soccer would have been a safe bet for his future.