RANCHO SAN DIEGO - Several hundred people attended a candlelight vigil Wednesday night for a Steele Canyon student killed in a crash last week.
Julian Fraire, 16, died when his minivan drifted across Steele Canyon Road last Thursday and hit a truck head-on. Students, friends and teachers remembered him for his intelligence and sense of humor.
Students said he loved talking about String Theory and correcting their grammar on Facebook.
"He really was one of those people that you don't come across … someone that if we were in a crowd of a million people, he would be one of them that stood out," said student Tamia Rachal.
There were plenty of tears, but just as many laughs. His younger sister, Aurora, shared a funny childhood story.
"When I was a baby and Julian was two, he flipped me in my baby seat just to see what would happen," said Aurora.
But she described him as protective as they got older.
"He was just a really smart guy and he had that, he made us feel safe like a big brother should," she said.
One of the most powerful moments came from a woman who had never even met Julian. Leslie Cloud was behind the 16-year-old when he crashed. She was with him during his final moments.
"I want you to all know that he was not alone," said Cloud.
Cloud was also on her way to Steele Canyon when she witnessed the horrific crash.
"I did as much as I could for him at that moment and I didn't let him go until the paramedics got there," she said.
When paramedics arrived they immediately recognized Julian. Just one day before the fatal crash, he rear-ended another student when traffic came to a sudden stop on Steele Canyon Road.
"I calmed him down. He was freaking out … how much his dad was going to kill him," said Isaac Gonzales. "Luckily, he only suffered a hurt thumb.”
The next day, paramedics would not be able to save Julian.
Funeral services are set for Friday.
The CHP is still examining Julian's cellphone to see what caused him to get distracted.