Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Friends, family recall crash victims at vigil

9 vigil 001

Friends and family of the victims of the one-vehicle rollover gather for a candlelight vigil near Cannon Station Park in Vacaville, Tuesday. The crash killed two and put three other teens in the hospital Saturday night. About three hundred people attended the vigil. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | April 09, 2014 |

VACAVILLE — More than 300 friends and family gathered Tuesday night in a field next to Nut Tree Road to remember Gilberto Guzman, the guy who loved to live loud, and Christie Brinsley, the girl who always was kind to everybody.

“He was the guy who everyone wanted and needed as a best friend and bro,” Jesse Perez said of Guzman, using the hood of a four-wheel drive pickup truck as a podium to talk to a crowd of people, many of whom were holding candles.

Jessica Wallace, one of those in the crowd, described 16-year-old Christie as someone “who was an amazing girl and I never saw being mean to anyone.”

Both Vacaville teens were killed Saturday after the pickup truck that 19-year-old Guzman was driving veered off Pleasants Valley Road at about 7:30 p.m. and flipped several times into a field.

Brinsley died at the hospital after the crash. Guzman died at the scene. Three other teens, Anthony Markham, 16, Amber Shryack, 17, and Samantha King, 18, all of Vacaville, were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

The informal vigil was initially planned for 7 p.m. in the field where Guzman and friends in the Mud in Vacaville four-wheeler club gathered to drive.

Solano County sheriff’s deputies tried to shut it down when large numbers of people started showing up on the grounds based on liability concerns. The land is county property. Several people made their displeasure known, saying the deputies should not interfere with the memorial.

“I get it, trust me,” Deputy Michael Waller said to one of the people. “I don’t want to do this.”

The Sheriff’s Office relented and, reinforced by the Vacaville Police Department, watched from a distance as two groups gathered, a larger group to eulogize Guzman and Brinsley as well as pray that Markham, Shryack and King recover from their injuries.

Drew Stone described Guzman as “a super-fun, low-key guy who got along with everybody.”

“Gilbert was family to everyone here,” said Perez, getting loud cheers from the crowd. “He always showed up with a big grin.”

Both Guzman’s and Brinsley’s family members thanked all those present for remembering them. Guzman’s younger brother was pulled up to the hood of the truck, shown to all those present and told by his older brother’s friends that they were all his family now.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
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Discussion | 7 comments

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  • P.J.April 09, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Did anyone by any chance mention that they were 'great kids, bad choices'.....did their parents by any chance tell the crowd how sad their lives will be from now on, without their children, because of the bad, bad, choices they made one night! Will there be one single teen who will learn from this? Or, will they all go through life thinking those dead kids are some kind of heros?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • KtApril 09, 2014 - 12:19 pm

    Yes all present in our area were told by Christie's father and the other parents and grandparents just how much it hurt to lose such great young people and that this all could be avoided by using good judgment. It was a time of remembrance and love.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • To ignorant PJApril 09, 2014 - 7:24 pm

    Just because there's a large crowd of teens and adults PAYING THEIR RESPECTS doesn't conclude they're going to brush this off their shoulders, believing they're invincible and think their fallen friends are "heros". Of course they're going to take this seriously (I'm assuming you didn't attend the vigil) they specifically told the crowd to be more careful about their partying and that they don't want to have to attend to another lost of a close friend. If anything people are appreciating their loved ones a lot more.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MDSApril 09, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    PJ I think it's obvious that they made bad choices and paid for it with their lives. Did you ever drive reckless and make any bad choices like that when you were a kid? Don't lie, we all did it. We just got lucky and didn't get killed doing it. And hopefully lots of youngsters (and some adults) will learn from this and not make those bad choices.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SandraApril 09, 2014 - 11:17 am

    Reading this article touches my heart. I lost my 16 year old son 15 months ago to a tragic car accident. There are no words to express the appreciation we felt when my sons friends organized and held a town vigil on the courthouse square of our small Texas town while we were at the hospital before his passing. God Bless those courageous, thoughtful, loving individuals that coordinated this vigil to remember your friends and pray for the families. I know it means a lot to the families to know their children were so loved.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LeslieApril 09, 2014 - 11:55 am

    PJ-Maybe they did make the wrong choice in not wearing seatbelts. But right now the other three kids are fighting and healing still. Right now its important to get them healed and to a place where they will face the consequences. Their health and life is whats important right now.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • myturnowJuly 04, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    They all made bad choices. Unfortunately a couple of them will no longer be with us. Drinking and driving obviously never mixes. Wish Gilbert would have thought more about his friends and family before doing soo. He killed that poor girl with his choices. And to whoever provided them with the booze, shame on you.... you have wasted a couple of great lives.... I hope that you feel the shame for the rest of yours. .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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