FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Friends are remembering a former Sanger High School soccer player after he crashed his vehicle and died early Saturday morning.
A memorial has been set up on the side of Highway 180 to remember 17-year-old Uriel Velasquez.
"He just loved, loved soccer. It was his life. Besides his family and his friends, it was just soccer," said longtime friend Adrian Romero.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office confirms with Action News that Velasquez crashed his Toyota Camry on Highway 180 near McCall Avenue.
They say he was not wearing his seatbelt.
It's unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident.
The California Highway Patrol says the investigation is ongoing.
"There was a whole bunch of people gathered here for one person, a special person," said Velasquez's friend, Octavio Lopez.
Lopez has known Velasquez since elementary school.
He said Velasquez was the kind of friend people would hope for.
"He was always a great persona to talk to, always so uplifting," said Lopez.
Lopez and other friends of Velasquez were at the memorial on Monday afternoon.
They added to the growing pile of flowers and candles left by loved ones.
"He made a really big impact. He might not have known it, maybe not that many people told him about it, but he really, he touched a lot of people's lives when he was here," said Romero.
Velazquez recently graduated from Sanger High School and was enrolled in Clovis Community College.
Both schools are offering grief counselors to anyone who may be having a difficult time with this loss.
The college has a crisis person available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
It will also have community resources that we can provide should you prefer to utilize those.
Clovis Community College's phone number is (559) 325-5318.