Family, friends honor La Crescenta teen killed in Tujunga rollover crash

LA CRESCENTA, Calif. (KABC) -- Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Saturday night to honor a 17-year-old Crescenta Valley High School student who was killed in a rollover single-car crash in Tujunga.

Senior Christine Martinez was killed around 10:20 p.m. Thursday night when a burgundy 1998 Ford Explorer she was in rolled over three times, which caused her to be ejected from the vehicle.

At the vigil, friends said Martinez was a fun-loving, happy person.

"She was always so happy on the field, and I think that was the best part about Christine. She was always making us laugh and trying to make us smile," Britni Delgado said.

The driver of the SUV, identified as 18-year-old Summerain Solomon, of La Crescenta, was driving on Tujunga Canyon Boulevard near Pali Avenue when she lost control of the car, causing it to rollover.

Solomon and two other passengers, all classmates of Martinez's, were taken to local hospitals and were all expected to survive.

Nearly 100 people, from family members to school staff, attended the vigil. The school district made sure everyone had the support they needed.

Dr. Linda Gubler Junge, principal of Crescenta Valley High School, said clergy and counselors were available to help those grieve or just talk to someone.

Martinez's family struggle to comprehend the loss. She was a key member of the AYSO Whiteout soccer team. Friends said Martinez was a fierce competitor out on the field, always ready to support her teammates.

"Christine was very confident, very pretty, very beautiful, very positive," Arva Syed said.

It's that motivation that the team said they will take to a game on Sunday as they play in Martinez's honor.

Junge had sent a letter to parents informing them of Martinez's death Friday morning.

"My hope in these saddest moments is found in the fact that our Falcon Family is strong. We pull together and take care of each other, watching out for one another, putting arms around those who need it when they need it," she said in the letter. "Our larger community is a similarly powerful network, with community and faith groups pulling together in a unifying way."

Valley Traffic Division detectives were looking for additional witnesses to the crash. Anyone with more information was urged to call Detective Dough Larkin at (818) 644-8115 or Detective Bustos at (818) 644-8021. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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