Vigil held in Union City for surviving crash victim

More than 100 people gathered for a vigil in Union City for a James Logan High School student who is fighting for his life. 16-year-old Jared Reynoso is one of two survivors in a Christmas night crash that claimed the lives of three young people. Reynoso’s family said he is still in critical condition in an induced coma at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Candles filled the front of James Logan High School’s Performing Arts Center Tuesday night as family and friends of the sophomore prayed for a miracle. It’s a tragedy that has hit the Reynoso family hard.

“We can't even start grieving on two of them,” said Jared’s Aunt Chela Reynoso. “We also have to pray for Jared.” 

The family is not only praying for Reynoso but mourning the loss of his cousins, twin brothers Mark and Michael Urista. The three boys were in a car with two other teens on Christmas night. The car crashed into a tree on Foothill Road in Pleasanton. The driver lost control, hitting a utility pole. The twins and another teenager Javier Ramirez died.

The twins mother and Jared’s aunt spoke on behalf of Jared's mother who has not left her son's side at the hospital.

“What she wants you all to know is he's the best big brother,” said Jared’s Aunt Ana Reynoso. “Jared had wanted to be a professional football player. His dream was to attend Ohio State. From there, he wanted to play for the Raiders or Seahawks.”

She spoke of Reynoso’s plans and potential. Reynoso is a defensive lineman for the school’s football team. Teacher Erin Cross organized the vigil and said Reynoso was on his way to earning a football scholarship.

“If you know Jared you know he's very strong physically. My students were surprised,” said Cross. “Wow if it could happen to him it could happen to any of us.”

Reynoso’s father who spoke Spanish expressed his gratitude. Many of Reynoso’s friends and football teammates wrote words of hope and encouragement on posters. Reynoso’s football coach reminded the students no one is invincible.

“Today being New Year’s Eve, please pay attention when you drive,” said Reynoso’s Coach Tito Benavides. “Please don’t be distracted when you drive especially all you young guys.”

A Gofundme page has been established to help pay for Reynoso’s medical expenses.

No word yet on the funeral arrangements for the twins.