Kerman Students Mourn Classmate

February 20, 2008 Thomas Nazaroff was one of two teens killed in a weekend crash in Kerman and California Highway Patrol officers say speed and alcohol played a role in the accident.

More than one hundred Kerman High School students lit candles as they grieved the loss of their classmate who is described as a happy teen who had crazy hair and loved football.

But they also talked about their hope that his death could save other lives.

Kerman High School students held candles and shed tears as they remembered 14-year-old Thomas Nazaroff, known as Tommy to his friends. "He was just like the craziest guy you know he could come up with random things. And he was the type of person if you were sad he'd make you laugh," said friend Angela Ramos.

Another friend, David Inman said, "He loved football. That was his dream. He was telling everybody, can't wait 'til next year it was like my dream come true. He loved football."

Tuesday night his fellow teammates huddled up for a final tribute. Nazaroff died on Saturday after the SUV he was riding in rolled over on a rural road in Kerman. Some of the teens who gathered to remember him only knew him as a classmate, or through his older brother. They say his untimely death has hit the entire campus and community hard. "I just think this has brought us all closer. Because it's hard for a small town like us," said family friend Brittney Decker.

Another female passenger, 19-year-old Melina Sandoval of Madera also died in the crash. California highway patrol officers say all five teens in the vehicle had been drinking.

Tuesday night, as Nazaroff's classmates grieved, they also encouraged one another not to drink and drive so they'll never have to go through this again.

The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was arrested and may face charges related to the accident.

A funeral for Nazaroff will be held on Thursday.

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