Teen mourns the loss of best friend who died in a rollover accident
16-year-old Sunnyside HS student Gabriel Casillas died in crash
Reporter: Valerie Cavazos
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Each year, thousands of teenagers experience the death of someone they know -- a friend -- a relative. And this weekend -- it's been hard for many teens in Tucson -- who knew 16-year-old Gabriel Casillas. Most know him has Gabriel Molina.
"I was shocked. I couldn't stop crying. I didn't believe it," said Joselyn Bejarano, who was Gabriel's best friend. She was one of dozens of friends and Sunnyside High School classmates who posted on Facebook -- mourning the loss of the teen, who died in a rollover accident -- early Saturday morning on the city's westside. He was a passenger in the car.
"Everybody's in shock. Everybody still can't believe it," said Joselyn, who also told us that the family was taking it very hard.
"As a parent -- when your child leaves and a part of you leaves with them. you're never rested until they get home. It hurts us to know what happened to him," said Joselyn's father, Leroy Perez.
That hurt runs deep for Joselyn -- who is now trying to cope with losing her best friend -- a friend she describes as a tough guy -- with a soft heart. She turns back to the remnants of their memories shared. She wanted to read his latest text message -- sent to her just days ago. "Dear best friend, me and you have been through a lot .. laughs a lot and cried a lot."
The text went on explaining how much he appreciated their friendship -- a similar sentiment he wrote in her 7th grade yearbook. "He'll protect me always. That he never had a friend like me."
KGUN9 Valerie Cavazos asked Joselyn if she would have a big void in her life now. She replied, "yeah." Cavazos asked if she was going to able to get through this? She answered -- while breaking down in tears, "I don't think so"
Joselyn said Gabriel was the youngest in the family. He lived with his mother -- his father been out of the picture. Joselyn said he was a typical teen -- trying to find his way in life.