HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of people gathered Saturday at the street corner where a Hanford teenager was killed for a somber ceremony on his birthday.
Investigators said Adam Aviles was killed Thursday in a car crash at 9 1/4 Avenue and Myrtle Street in Hanford. The driver ran from the scene but was later arrested.
Family members mourn the loss of the teen on what would've been his birthday, but there are still many unanswered questions about his death. If Aviles was still alive, he'd be 14. But instead of a birthday party, his family is grieving his death.
"This is what we're celebrating now -- his eternal life," said Alfred Aviles, the victim's father.
The suspect in the teen's death is Jimmie Lee Love III. California Highway Patrol investigators said he was driving the only car involved in the crash when he lost control and hit a power pole. Aviles was killed, and two other passengers were injured. The unlicensed driver ran away and was arrested hours later.
Just yards from the crash site, balloons meant for the victim's birthday celebration were released into the sky at his vigil.
"It broke my heart. I would just pray that God would allow him to see how much love he does have," his father said.
Family members say the teen wanted to be a mechanic when he grew up. They say that passion came from his love of cars.
"He hated school, but as soon as he saw that I jumped back into college and I told him 'go, do it.' He was focused, but he's gone too soon now," said Alfred Aviles Jr., the victim's brother.
Now those close to Adam Aviles want to know why he was in a car with a stranger. Family members said Aviles was supposed to be on his way to school with his sister, and they've never seen the suspect before. Investigators said Love is facing several felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter.
Hanford teenager killed in hit-and-run crash remembered on birthday