A second victim has died from the fatal head on collision last Thursday on Highway 1.
A Santa Barbara City College student and his sister were driving to school from their Lompoc home when an oncoming Honda Civic drifted into their lane.
The accident killed the Civic’s driver, Mirella Hernandez, and put 18-year old Ricky Santos and his sister in the hospital.
While Ricky’s sister is recovering from broken bones, Ricky was taken off life support on Tuesday night.
Now the communities in Lompoc in Santa Ynez, where Ricky graduated from Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, are mourning his death.
Students and staff who knew Ricky say they didn’t know what to do or say when they heard about the accident, so they expressed their sadness by printing out pictures of him and coloring in his track and cross country jersey.
They posted the pictures on a classroom window.
His best friend Kristina Crowder said Ricky was goofy and always made people smile.
And she says if Ricky could speak to staff and students today he’d want people to continue smiling.
“Just like tell everyone that he loves them and to be strong and to take life in every day with the passion and love and excitement that he welcomed every different day with,” said Kristina.
The school remembered Ricky earlier this week by holding a grievance room in which they watched videos of him, wrote letters to his family, and ate cereal—they say that’s his favorite food.
They‘ll also hold a celebration of his life this Sunday at the high school.
A memorial date has not been announced, but a fund has been set up at Rabobank to help the Santos family through Ricky’s death, and help his sister recover from her injuries too; donations can be made to the Santos Family Benefit fund.
There will also be two barbeques to fundraise and remember Ricky on February 23rd: one in Santa Maria at Preisker Park and the other in Buellton at Buellton Valley Clinic.
The family wants people to know Ricky is an organ donor, and hopes he continues to help people even after his passing.