One Livermore High School student died and five of his peers were injured after a pickup truck went down an embankment off Del Valle Road in unincorporated Livermore late Friday night, authorities said.
Friends and family have identified the student who died as Hunter Diemert, 15, a junior and member of the school's wrestling team. A vigil was held at the school on Saturday evening to honor the boy killed and support the other victims and their families.
"Hunter touched so many lives and still had so much to do in life. The words that come to mind when thinking about this loss are; not fair, and this can't be real. His loss will be felt heavily, for a long time to come by his family, friends and all who loved him," Jennifer Silva wrote on the GoFundMe page she organized to support Diemert's family.
Superintendent Kelly Bowers confirmed the sad news of a student's death in an email statement to the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District community on Saturday afternoon.
"No words can express our collective sadness and grief at this tragic news. Our hearts go out to this young man's loved ones and our entire school community," Bowers wrote in her email, which did not identify any of the victims by name.
The deadly crash occurred on Del Valle Road near Mines Road at about 11:20 p.m. Friday with a pickup truck carrying six people traveling southbound on Del Valle, according to Officer Tyler Hahn of the California Highway Patrol.
The pickup went off the roadway for unknown reasons and overturned multiple times down a steep embankment before coming to rest. "Speed may have been a factor but statements and information are still being gathered," Hahn told the Weekly.
"Seatbelt use is still under investigation as multiple passengers were ejected from the vehicle," the officer added. Seating position is also under investigation as the truck's cab had only five seats. The CHP did not reveal whose truck it was nor who was behind the wheel.
Two patients were airlifted to area hospitals while four others were taken for treatment via ambulance, according to the Alameda County Fire Department. More than a half-dozen agencies responded to assist in the emergency response that night.
One of the injured students -- later identified as Diemert -- died as a result of the crash.
Injuries for the other occupants ranged from major to minor, according to Hahn. Updates on the survivors' conditions were not immediately available Sunday afternoon, but individual GoFundMe pages have been set up to support certain survivors.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Any witnesses should call the CHP-Dublin office at 925-828-0466, according to Hahn.
Diemert, who was four weeks shy of his 16th birthday, is survived by his parents and sister, according to the GoFundMe page -- which had generated more than $15,000 toward its $25,000 goal as of Sunday midafternoon.
"When Hunter wasn't working on his (vintage) truck, working out on the wrestling mat or sending funny memes to his friends, you could find him outdoors," Silva wrote on the GoFundMe page. "He loved to fish, ride dirt bikes, hike, camp and swim. Hunter was an amazing friend and always kept the group laughing with jokes, stories and memes; which were only funny because they came from Hunter."
The fatal crash represents a devastating end to the first week of school for LVJUSD, which welcomed students back for full-time education on campus on Tuesday.
"We are all understandably grieving this tragic loss of young life. In this difficult aftermath, we are sending hope and strength for a full recovery to our other injured students involved and their families," Bowers wrote in her email, adding that LVJUSD will be mobilizing crisis support teams for students and staff in the aftermath.
"This is a somber reminder of just how precious life is and we take this time to ask for your continued assistance and commitment in keeping our young people safe and sound, in our schools as well as throughout our city," Bowers said.
The situation is also all too familiar for the district's high school community within the past year.
Two active LVJUSD students -- Livermore High junior Ian Ericksen and a Del Valle Continuation High School student Shej Kumar -- along with recent Vineyard Alternative High School alumnus Rahul Brar were killed in a crash with a parked semi-truck on Las Positas Road in Livermore on Dec. 21, 2020. The trucker was later charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in that crash.