Family and friends identified the young man who died in a Saturday dirt bike accident as 16-year-old Ramon Gonzalez from Selma.
The teen was riding his dirt bike when he drove into a big rig near Fowler, California, says California Highway Patrol spokesperson Vic Taylor.
Family and friends of Gonzalez describe the sophomore of Selma High School as a “bright light,” always happy and full of energy.
They say he will be missed.
“(I’m) just really heartbroken,” said a friend of Gonzalez, Michell Leocadio. “Last night I couldn’t stop crying.”
Friends say he was doing what he loved, riding his dirt bike and had so many plans for his future.
Louie Armendarez, another friend of Gonzalez says, “When I heard what happened to him, it just hurt me.”
Armendarez says he and Gonzalez became fast friends freshman year, bonding over quads, dirt bikes and football.
“He told me he had a three wheeler and I got a quad and that’s how we started and after that we started going riding,” he says.
The two played on the Selma High School junior varsity football team.
“He had a lot of goals to reach, like I remember him saying he wanted to make it to varsity,” Armendarez says.
It’s Thanksgiving break for students and staff, but as the day went on, many showed up at Selma High seeking comfort.
“When things happen in a family,” a school official says, “Sometimes it helps to come together.”
They gathered to remember a brother, son and dear friend.
“He would always make us laugh, he never failed at making us smile,” Leocadio says.
Coaches and teachers all described Gonzalez the same way on and off the field — always happy, always respectful.
Head junior varsity football coach, Chris Tapia, says, “He was a very great young man, very hardworking, respectful, mature, the type of team that could be counted on, just very big lost for us all.”
A GoFundMe account was set up by friends in Gonzalez’ honor to support his funeral.