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Students mourn teen killed in DUI crash in Indio

By Megan Terlecky, News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, megan.terlecky@kesq.com
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:09:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 07:47:15 PM CST

Teens at several valley schools wear white to honor teen killed in DUI crash.

INDIO, Calif. -

A deadly weekend in Coachella Valley left six people dead in three separate crashes.  One of them, a teenager, was killed early Sunday morning.   The driver of that accident, also a teen, now faces drunken driving charges.   

Raul Arreola, who grew up with the Victor Regalado, says, "I don't know where to begin, this could've been prevented."

Skid marks still scare the road where several lives changed forever.

Ayerim Torres, a friend, says, "It's unreal.  How does it happen?  I still don't believe it he was just here."

18-year-old Victor Regalado was one of four teens riding in a Jeep.  At 3:32 Sunday morning, Victor tweeted "We drunk driving."  About an hour later he was dead.

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Indio police say the driver of the Jeep lost control and rolled on Adams Street near Avenue 40.

Victor was ejected and later died at the hospital.

Police arrested the driver, also a teenager, for driving drunk.

Sgt. Juan Zamora, of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, says, "It's frustrating as a peace officer that we see lives being lost because someone made that decision to drive and drink at the same time."

Raul Arreola spent the day at the crash site mourning his best friend.

"He's a smart guy, he wouldn't put himself in that position.  He's a hard worker, he's a smart guy," said Arreola.

Even strangers came to offer their support.

Jonathon Gibson says, "This ain't easy.  Somebody lost a son, they lost a friend, a brother, a schoolmate.  It's not easy."

Gibson, a father himself, felt compelled to comfort Arreola.  

"Just give him words of encouragement that the only way his friend is going to live is if you share the same story so that other people don't have to go through the same thing," said Gibson.

Students are also mourning at Shadow Hills High School where Victor was just three months away from graduating.  The principal tells us they brought in extra staff and psychologists to help students and teachers deal with this tragedy.

Student's also wore white, not just at Shadow Hills but at several other schools in the valley.

"Whatever I can do to show my respect towards him and his family I will," said Torres.

Teens we talked with say this is a sobering reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving.

"For him to have gone for such a mistake like this is horrible, I hope it's a wake-up call to everyone," said Torres.

"Hours after the accident people were already talking about it, to be careful," said Arreola.

"We need to recognize that there is something better in this life for these teens, more than just drinking and driving.  You don't need alcohol to have a good time," said Gibson.

As far as the other teenagers involved, one girl left the scene and later went to the hospital; police were looking for a fourth passenger.