The Lobo Times
Grief strikes school community: Students see life in different wayMonday, November 27, 2006 By Cindy Monreal
How are people coping with the three recent teen tragedies over the past three months? The first to mention resulted from a car accident that took place on October 14 on Nogales Highway near Hughes Access Road. The accident, involving four teens, Cruz Beas, from Howenstine High School, Gloria Ochoa from Sunnyside High School, and AVHS Seniors Mariam Ochoa (sister of Gloria) and Juan Hermosillo. The incident took the lives of Beas and Gloria Ochoa, and left Mariam Ochoa seriously injured. Sophomore Maria Alday, was directly affected by the accident because she was friends with both Gloria and Mariam Ochoa. She had been friends with Gloria since the first day of kindergarten, and just last year she met Mariam Ochoa in a class they shared at Alta Vista High School. “At first I couldn’t believe [the accident happened] because I had just talked to her [Gloria Ochoa]. I was going to meet her at the Sunnyside football game, but for some reason we couldn’t,” said Alday. Alday found out what happened from a former AVHS graduate, Roman “Buddah” Vidal. “That Monday at school […] my whole world was coming down on me and I broke down,” said Alday. Maria sees life in a whole different way now. She realized that one day a person can be here and the next day they can be gone. Richard Fleming, former criminal justice teacher of Mariam Ochoa, was stunned and in disbelief about what happened to Ochoa. Advice that Fleming wants teens to always remember: “Be smart, be safe,” he said. Senior Adriana Servin was another student from AVHS who was affected by this tragic accident. She lost her friend, Beas. The morning after the accident, a phone call informed her of the tragic news. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do or say,” said Servin. One thing that Servin does to cope is to not talk much about what happened. When she does, her emotions return and she saddens. Servin indicated that Beas’ family is doing well, they believe things happen for a reason, and that God decided it was his time. Junior Cassandra Madrid was a friend of Beas’ as well. She was also informed of this tragic news by a phone call. “I started crying and didn’t know what to do,” said Madrid But she said that she’s doing a lot better than she was. She does not talk about it much either because she wishes she could forget that it ever happened. “[Wear your] seat belts at all times. If you’re too drunk to drive, stay at the party and call someone to go and pick you up,” she said. Madrid also wanted to send Beas this message, “We love you and miss you.” Unfortunately, the Beas-Ochoa accident is not the only one that has taken place involving students from Alta Vista. The death of Dionicio Cramer, former AVHS student, was the second wave of grief that overcame the school community. Cramer was shot and killed on October 20. Students at AVHS are trying to forget what happened because he was a fellow student of theirs and a friend to many. Senior Anilu Gutierrez was Cramer’s friend for three years. She could not believe the news she first heard from Gloria Bednar-Perez, junior. Bednar-Perez told her that someone they knew was allegedly responsible for shooting Cramer. The news left Gutierrez speechless. She always saw Cramer outside his house on her way home. Now, she will never see him again. “You live to die, that’s just how it is,” said Gutierrez. “Watch your back, what you do, who you talk to, and who your friends are. Trust no one.” One of Cramer’s former English teachers from AVHS, Angelina Merritt, didn’t know much of what happened to him, but said she was sad to know that someone so young, with a lot of talent, is not going to be around anymore. “You may not always see the consequences of your actions, but they will affect who you can be later on,” said Merritt. Cramer’s former math teacher, Aracely Bojorquez, was also surprised to find out what happened. “He was young and had his whole life ahead of him,” said Bojorquez. Bojorquez wishes all teens would be careful, safe, and responsible. A third tragic event was a car accident that left four Alta Vista students severely hurt at the beginning of the school year on August 21 on Alvernon Road. Fortunately, Fernando Nunez senior, Josh Nunez sophomore, Martin Nunez freshman, and Pablo Pride junior, all survived the crash. The driver, Fernando Nunez, woke up from a coma a week and a half later. Nunez was trying to remember what had happen, and was worried about the other people that were in the car accident at the time. He was worried that some one had died—the whole situation was traumatic for him. Nunez said that he does blame himself for the accident because he believes if he would have been driving more carefully, then it wouldn't have happened. Nunez is glad that everybody involved in the accident are getting better, but he and his little brother, Martin, are still working toward it. Nunez has managed to move on and get his life back on track. Going back to work, buying another car, and going to physical therapy helps him get better as time goes on. But one thing that Nunez wants all teens to know is (and of course, he speaks from experience), “Don’t try to have fun because in a blink of an eye, things happen,” he said. They certainly can.