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High school coach remembers Eastlake baseball star

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 09:00:49-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A memorial for an Chula Vista baseball star is growing after the young man died in a car crash over the weekend.

Micah Pietila-Wiggs played for coach David Gallegos all four years at Eastlake High School.

After Eastlake's game over the weekend, Gallegos received the tragic news that Pietila-Wiggs did not survived a car crash early Saturday morning near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Gallegos says he had just talked to Pietila-Wiggs on Friday via Facetime with his mom.

RELATED: Eastlake community mourns loss of star athlete killed in car crash

The California Highway Patrol says the crash happened just after 5 a.m. on Jan. 22, when the truck Pietila-Wiggs was driving crashed into the concrete barrier, causing it to overturn.

Pietila-Wiggs died at the hospital, and the news shocked the Eastlake community.

“Even the kids that didn't really know him felt it, you could see it at school. 'Coach, are you OK? Coach, I’m really feeling bad because I know he's a good kid,'” says Gallegos.

Before Eastlake High, there was Eastlake Little League for Pietila-Wiggs, a standout player with long blonde hair and a fan favorite who helped lead the 2013 team to the Little League World Series.

“He was just a loving kid, just outgoing, all his friends, basically they call him like a best friend because he treated everybody equally,” Gallegos remembered.

Pietila-Wiggs' parents, Ronnie and Steve, have asked for privacy but shared a message with ABC 10News, saying the outpouring of love, support, and words shared about Micah have been an incredible source of encouragement to them and they appreciate every bit of it. They say they are incredibly touched and are in support of all of the ways people are remembering their son.

A vigil for Pietila-Wiggs is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m., at the Eastlake High School baseball field. A Mealtrain and fundraising page have been set up for the family, if you’d like to donate, click here.