MANTECA (CBS13) — Friends of a teen killed by an alleged distracted driver spent the day washing cars to raise money for his family.

The California Highway Patrol says Zachariah Gomez, 14, was one of four teens who were struck by a car early Saturday morning as they were walking along Yosemite Avenue. Gomez would later die at the hospital.

Mia Aguiar, 19, was arrested and is accused of reaching for her cellphone before veering off the road and hitting the teens.

“We are a big group of friends, and we know that he would want us to do something,” one friend said on Tuesday. “He wouldn’t want us to mourn and be upset.

Gomez was a student at Manteca High School, where friends say he was well-liked, and active in the school’s Junior ROTC program.

“He had leadership all over him. That guy was destined, so it’s a great loss,” said instructor David Torres. “He was going to graduate from high school, he was going to join the military, and then eventually end up in a career in the police department, so he was pretty focused.”

A focused teen whose life was cut short by a driver’s distraction.

Organizers say just over $1,000 was raised at Monday’s car wash.

Aguiar will face vehicular manslaughter charges on Tuesday.


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