Student Killed in Car Crash Mourned

The 16-year-old Freedom girl died Friday, shortly after leaving Renaissance High School.

The Renaissance High student was Cynthia Madrigal, the Coroner's Office confirmed Saturday.

Cynthia, a 16-year-old Freedom girl, was involved in a two-vehicle collision on San Andreas Road about two miles south of her high school. The two-lane road she was driving on is a main route from her school to Watsonville, where many of the students live.

Her death was immediately mourned. 

"She was so young," Shauna Mathis wrote on Watsonville Patch's Facebook page.

"God bless her family, she went way too soon," Gabriella Chavez Ortiz shared on Facebook.

"I am really sad when there is a life that's taken from us," Patch reader Joe Williams wrote. "What a shame to lose this beautiful person. My God be with her family as she enters the gate of Heaven.

Cynthia's Volkswagen Beetle and Chevy pickup collided on San Andreas near Sunset Beach Road.

Saturday, people paid homage to Cynthia at the spot where she was killed. People left flowers and candles in the dirt on the side of the road. Friends took a moment there, as others who stopped appeared to be working through how the deadly crash occurred.

"Such a heartbreaker," David H. Perez commented on Patch. "I hope the other driver that caused this now realizes the consequences of what a moment of inattention behind the wheel can have."

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the circumstances of the fatal accident. The pickup involved was driven by a 67-year-old Watsonville man, who suffered minor injuries.

, a continuation school in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, will have grief counselors available for students and staff on Monday, according to Principal Artemisa Cortez.

Cynthia's death comes two weeks after Brandon Gil, a 21-year-old Watsonville man, was fatally stabbed outside a downtown bar. One commenter on Facebook said the two families are connected: Cynthia's cousin dated Gil.

"This family has been thru (sic) way too much," Connie Garcia wrote.

randy April 14, 2012 at 08:26 PM
What sadness our small community has had. So many we lost at such a young age. To Cynthia's family and friends I offer my sympathy. "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
Bly Moeales April 16, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I'm proud to say on Sunday my 14 year old Son returned home safe and sound from what I thought what was a normal skate all day and spend the night with a friend. I was touched to hear him say he had just finished helping out at a car wash to help Cynthia's family...He said "Mom I didn't have a sign so I wrote car wash on the grip tape of my board" (his board is his other half). My heart goes out to both families going thru so much loss and pain. It makes me want to hold my kids in my arms and never let them go!!! Reality is that's not possible so..I just believe that everything happens for a reason, I know I have lost and I still don't know what the reason is but I know the loss of these lives can not be in vain....Lots of love and healing
Fig April 16, 2012 at 08:18 PM
"Such a heartbreaker," David H. Perez commented on Patch. "I hope the other driver that caused this now realizes the consequences of what a moment of inattention behind the wheel can have."??? Did I miss something? as far as I know, the other man involved in the accident hasn't been named at fault and CHP is investigating whether SHE was on her cell phone when the accident happened. Yes, it's sad that she lost her life, but we also shouldn't go around blaming others if the facts are not in yet. Does anyone proof read the "articles" before they hit "publish"? Since when did quoting facebook become journalism?
Jennifer Squires April 16, 2012 at 08:40 PM
It's sad no matter what the circumstances. Yes, the CHP continues to investigate the crash and Patch will have more information as soon as it's available.
Jennifer Squires April 16, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Here's an update with details about how the crash occurred. http://watsonville.patch.com/articles/chp-teen-driver-lost-control-before-deadly-crash
randy April 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Bly.. that really touched my heart. Our teens now a days have a lot on their plate as it is. Then to have so much tragedy to so many of their friends really is hard. My heart aches for the family and friends and for ALL out young people. We need to ALL be there for these young people. This post is the opinion of the poster
David H. Perez April 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM
The original story implied there was another vehicle that caused the crash, and that is when I wrote my comment. Subsequent investigation revealed this was not likely the case. This was a tragic incident whoever was at fault, and something I hope many people can learn from.
Martha Sandoval May 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I would like to take a moment and thank everybody in the community for their love and support. Everyone was amazing, and loved Cynthia dearly. Thank you Bly Moeales for sharing your touching story. Cynthia was a great daughter and a great friend. We will all miss her tremendously. In these difficult times, it's the family and friends that keep us going each day. There are no words to express the sorrow and emptiness that my family is going through. I never thought that this would happen to my daughter. She was too young. She had so many hopes and dreams, and sometimes life just isn't fair!! I would give my life for hers in a hearbeat. I still can't believe that she is gone. I also, can't believe that she wasn't wearing a seatbelt. That just doesn't make sense. I keep telling myself she was trying to get out of the car, but then realized she couldn't. I know for a fact, that she wasn't on drugs or alcohol or texting. The last call that was made from her cellphone was 2 hours before the accident. So, I don't understand why she lost control of the car. I keep telling myself that God wanted it that way, and I have no control over that, I keep telling myself that Cynthia is now our guardian angel, and she will watch over us and meet us, when our time comes. Each day, I pray for strength so I can carry on. I pray for inner peace because my heart and spirit need it. So, I do appreciate everyones thoughts and prayers. Thank you all for your wonderful words and support!!


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