Reporting Anjali Hemphill
STOCKTON (CBS13) – Two mothers were mourning the loss of their sons as friends and family gathered to remember the two teens who died after allegedly crashing a stolen car while fleeing police.
The gas station parking lot on Pacific Avenue was filled with friends and family huddled around a memorial for 13-year-old Luis Longoria and 15-year-old Martel Zepeda. Police say the two were driving a stolen 1994 Honda Accord when they hit the wall of a Rasputin Music store and died.
The families of both boys say they were good kids who never got into trouble.
“Martel was a really good kid. He just made one bad decision,” said Zepeda’s mother, Eleatha Bennett.
A line of candles, flowers and tokens of remembrance lined the wall where two teens died.
“Everybody is going to miss him a lot,” said Zepeda’s cousin, Walter Martin.
California Highway Patrol says the 13-year-old driver led them on a chase and refused to pull over when officers saw them speeding.
Longoria’s mom believes the two weren’t car thieves.
“They did not steal the car; that must’ve been given to them by someone,” said Longoria’s mom, Maria Lopez.
Still in shock, the mothers insist what happened was out of character for their sons and hope other teens will learn from their mistake.
“You just gotta think. You’re 14-15, and you’re out here driving, and you lose control so quickly, you panic. It’s not safe,” said Zepeda’s sister, Crystal Crawford.
CHP says the Accord the teens were driving was reported stolen a few days before the crash, but they still don’t know by whom.
Investigators say the teen driver also narrowly missed several gas pumps before crashing the car.
The coroner has yet to confirm the identities of the teens.