Kerman Mourning Loss of Athlete

February 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators say five minors were drinking alcohol Saturday night when their SUV crashed near Kerman.Two young people died, including a young athlete from Kerman, and two juveniles were arrested.

Investigators are stilling trying to find out how the five minors got a hold of alcohol. They also believe the teens traveled at a very high rate of speed.

Students in Kerman are shocked to know their friend and classmate lost his life over the weekend. Michael Rodrigues, Kerman, says "I couldn't believe that it happened to one of my best friends."

Friends of 14-year old Thomas Nazaroff remember a boy who worked hard trying to make the varsity football team. He attended Kerman High School.

"Just like any other football player, he wanted to start next year. He played last year, but he wanted to be one of the starting linemen this next year," says Rodrigues.

That dream was lost on this rural road. Skid marks and broken glass mark the spot where the SUV crashed.

Investigators said Nazaroff and 19-year-old Melina Sandoval did not wear their seat belts and were ejected.

Sandoval is from Madera. Both died at the scene.

The CHP reports a 17-year-old juvenile drove that night. Investigations say the boy was drunk and driving with a provisional license. He was arrested.

Ron Dchamplian, California Highway Patrol, says "You're not supposed to have any passengers under the age of 20 during that first 12 months of your license when you're provisional. And obviously, the drinking is a no brainier. You're not supposed to be drinking if you're under age."

Investigators believe the victims attended a party Saturday night. But they haven't said where and who supplied the alcohol, which is a question on the mind of many Kerman students.

Gordon Halstead, Kerman, says "Well we haven't been back to school yet. So we'll find out that tomorrow other than that, everybody is shocked that it happened and who it happened to."

Investigators say if they find out an adult supplied the alcohol he/she will also face serious charges.


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