The star quarterback of Maryvale High School and his 23-year-old passenger were killed Sunday morning when they crashed into a power pole.
Crisis counselors were on hand Monday when the announcement was made in school that 16-year-old Alexander Brizuela had passed away. A letter went out to parents.
The crash happened just before 7 a.m. Sunday in the area of 67th Ave and Solano Drive in Glendale. Brizuela was driving and 23-year-old Claudia Ontiveros was in the passenger seat.
They were not wearing seatbelts when their Jeep smashed into a pole. They both died at the scene. People who lived nearby say it felt like an explosion.
Friends and family gathered at the accident site all day Monday. They are stunned that it happened.
"She was our rock, our mom's rock. She just left big shoes to fill, because I'll have to do that now," said Karen Ontiveros, sister to Claudia.
"Terrific student, athlete, friend, he was a very good friend of mine and I just want to say that... I'm going to miss him a lot," said Raymond Lizarraga, a teammate to Alex.
Football players delivered flowers and food boxes to Alex's family on Monday.
A car wash will be held for Alex Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Maryvale High School. Funds raised will go to the family to help with funeral expenses.
It's too early to tell if speed, drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.