FAIRFIELD — Dozens of people came together Friday night at Ridgeview Park to mourn the death of a young man from Cordelia.
Cody Dalen, 19, was killed in a one-car crash in northeast Napa Sunday afternoon. He was on his way back from a weekend trip at Lake Berryessa. Two other Fairfield residents, Antonio Del Castilo, 17, and driver Adam Luzzi, 18, suffered injuries and were taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa.
Dalen grew up in Cordelia and attended Oakbrook Elementary School and Rodriguez High School.
His friends and family brought candles, balloons and flowers to his memorial at the park near his home.
Most of his friends who spoke about him knew him from an early age. They said they remembered him as a happy spirit, a kid who wanted to have a good time and wanted everyone else to as well.
Dalen’s brother-in-law, Ryan Mack, called Dalen the brother he never had. Even though Dalen was young, Mack said Dalen made him stronger and supported him.
“He isn’t gone,” Mack said. “That little bit of Cody in your heart – keep it there.”
Tina Tran was well-known to many in attendance as “the driver’s ed teacher,” though she knew Dalen since he was 4 years old. He was one of her son’s best friends and over the years she watched both of them grow into young men.
“My first memory of him is him eating – he was always eating,” she said, laughing.
Though he wasn’t related to her, Tran said Dalen was always part of her family.
“We loved him like our son,” she said. “His love was unconditional. You don’t find that in a lot of people.”
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