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Community gathers for memorial

Posted: July 14, 2012 6:01 a.m.
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:01 a.m.

Close friends of Luis Castillo pray around a memorial in Canyon Country on Friday at the spot where he was killed in a crash. From left, Mayra Prial, Gregorio Prial, Denise Reeves, Dory Aase and David Aase.


As many as 200 people gathered at about 8 p.m. Friday night for a memorial service at the site where Luis Castillo was killed in Tuesday's fatal automobile crash.

A pair of crosses and candles were being placed on the median along Soledad Canyon Road between Langside Avenue and Camp Plenty Road, at the point where Castillo was killed. The crash left his brother Anthony Hernandez with life-threatening injuries.

John McCarthy, a mathematics teacher at Bowman High School, was among those mourning the loss of the 20-year-old.

"He was the sweetest kid, had the biggest heart in the world," he said.

Castillo's mother, Theresa Castillo, and his cousin Heather Hernandez carried a banner in his memory on the sidewalk along Soledad Canyon Road after sheriff's deputies moved in at about 8:50 p.m. to prevent people from crossing traffic lanes to the makeshift memorial in the median.

"It appears that some of the mourners had been going out in traffic and were at the center median, and so we asked that they limit their activity to the sidewalk area, out of concerns for their safety," said Lt. Eric Lasko of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

Danny Montoya, a close friend of Castillo, set up a memorial fund for Castillo. Contributions may be made to the "Luis Castillo, Jr. Memorial Fund" set up at Chase Bank account No. 411595171, or Montoya may be contacted at


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