Vigil for 15-year-old girl killed in crash involving stolen car

A South Bay family is mourning the death of a 15-year-old girl. Amaris Medina was a passenger in a stolen car that crashed in East San Jose over the weekend. Police have arrested the 18-year-old driver.

At an East San Jose home sits a memorial filled with candles, photos and messages for a teenager loved by so many people.

“She will always be in our hearts forever,” said Medina’s grandmother Rosemary del Castillo. “She’s the most wonderful girl in the world.”

Medina had turned 15 in February. Loved ones describe her as compassionate and loving. She was a sophomore at Oak Grove High School and a junior varsity basketball player.

“We just miss her so much and nobody should have to go through that,” said Rosemary del Castillo.

Police said, Medina was killed Sunday at 3 a.m. when the driver of a 2013 Honda Accord she was riding with was speeding on Story Road. He then lost control hitting a tree and a light pole. Three other passengers, ages 15 and 16, were also hospitalized.

“There’s a lot of things going on,” said San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo. “There’s the statewide curfew. Obviously these five people should not have been out.”

Police said the car had also been reported stolen from Mountain View. Police arrested 18-year-old Jose Martinez at a home in San Jose after he ran away uninjured. He’s now booked with vehicular manslaughter, driving a stolen vehicle and hit and run.

“We just want to say for the parents when your kids go out check in with them,” said Medina’s aunt Kiara Martin. “Make sure you know where they are. Make sure they are staying exactly where they tell you. This is a very tragic situation.”

Loved ones said Medina was good friends with the other female passenger. They didn't know the driver or the male passengers.

‘I’m still thinking it's a dream,” said Medina’s mother Carolina Aramburo. “I’m still waiting for her to get home.”

Medina’s mother is grieving the loss of her only daughter, left with so many questions.

‘I’m just getting to know a side of my daughter I never knew,” said Aramburo. “She just trusted the wrong people.”

She’s urging parents to hold their kids tight coming to grips with no matter how hard you try to protect your children, you can’t always.

“I have to say I had a beautiful daughter I mean I did. She was beautiful inside and out,” said Aramburo.

Grief counselors are on hand for students and staff at Oak Grove High School. Police said another passenger is in critical condition. The other two are expected to recover.