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TEENS SAY GOODBYE TO 2 CRASH VICTIMS.

Byline: Donna Huffaker Staff Writer

TUJUNGA - Two juniors at local parochial schools, who were killed in a weekend car crash, were remembered Monday by friends and educators as sweet, fun-loving young men who made people laugh.

Gino Nepomuceno, who attended Providence High School in Burbank, and Ricky Ojeda, a former Providence student who was enrolled at Village Christian High School in Sun Valley, were killed in the 6:15 a.m. Saturday crash on La Luna Canyon Road in Tujunga.

Sister Lucille Dean of Providence High called Ricky and Gino ``both very good and very wonderful young boys who were fun-loving and had lots of friends.''

Nepomuceno had been active in a local chapter of Students Run, a club in which students train for the Los Angeles Marathon, and also played junior varsity basketball, she said.

Officials from Providence intended to break ground Monday on their new student activity center, but the ceremony was postponed because of the teens' deaths.

``This is a time for us to come together as a community, stand together and pray for these young men and their families,'' she said.

According to Los Angeles police, Ojeda was speeding eastbound in a 1992 Lexus when he lost control of the vehicle and plowed through a chain-link fence at Verdugo Hills Golf Course and into a tree.

Ojeda was pronounced dead at the scene, and Nepomuceno died at 9:30 that night at a local hospital, Officer Charlotte Broughton said.

Friends and family created a memorial at the crash scene, leaving candles, pictures, poems and heaps of roses, daisies and carnations. Yellow ribbons wrapped the tree, some holding photographs of Gino and Ricky, and students used markers to scrawl farewells and loving messages and memories on a nearby rock.

``Gino was really funny,'' said Glendale High School senior Katie Fisher, wiping tears from her eyes. ``He was the type of person who, when something was wrong, would put his problems aside and help you out.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Photos of Gino Nepomuceno, top, and Ricky Ojeda, were among items left at a makeshift memorial at the site where their car veered into a tree Saturday.

John McCoy/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 5, 2000
Words:363
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