UC Merced students, staff remember 21-year-old killed in San Jose car crash

A moment of silence at UC Merced Tuesday in honor of a student who died in a car crash in San Jose this weekend. Hundreds of students and staff gathered in front of a large oak tree in the middle of campus at 12-noon for Leo Cabrera. He was a 21-year-old computer science and engineering student.

Each student and staff member who remembered Cabrera said the same thing -- it was a privilege knowing such a strong man.

Friends said he always had a smile on his face and lived by the motto of 'live and love unconditionally.'

"Imagine the man that you want your son to grow up to be. That was Leo. All of the good qualities, the caring qualities and the selflessness. He was always going out of his way when it wasn't necessary to make sure you were taken care of," said Cabrera's Roommate and Best Friend Stephen Schug.

Tears rushed down the faces hundreds of students and staffers as they remembered Cabrera. The student and his 24-year old sister were killed in a car crash while visiting family in San Jose this weekend.

"I saw him leave Friday night I said goodbye. He said he was going to be with his parents and his sister and he just didn't come home," said Schug.

He said Cabrera's leadership and loving personality had no bounds.

"There is going to be a void of energy left in our lives. I hope we all fill it with our own force and energy and fill it with what he was doing for us," said Schug.

For now, colorful flowers will lay at the base of school's oak tree representing the life and legacy of Leo Cabrera.

To support the Cabrera family, click here.

Cabrera was a part of multiple student organizations on campus. The ESL (engineering service learning) will have a memorial for Cabrera on Wednesday, May 2nd at 8:30pm. For more information email: 

UC Merced Counseling & Psychological Services has someone to talk to 24-hours a day at 209-228-4266.


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