Vigil held for teen killed in Tijeras car crash

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Family, friends, and community members gathered to remember a former student-athlete who was killed over the weekend in a car crash. People said they came out to honor 19-year-old Zach Mascarenas’ memory.

“This right now, like I said, is unreal that my baby boy is gone,” said Mascarenas’ dad, Nate. “I know we have a long rough road ahead of us and I told people this is going to be the greatest challenge of my life.”

People who knew Mascarenas shared stories about the teen and even a few funny memories. They lit candles, said prayers, and let balloons fly away to honor the teen.

The family said he grew up in the Española area but moved to Albuquerque for his senior year where he played guard for the Cibola High School basketball team. People told KRQE News 13 he was naturally talented at the game.

Courtesy Nate Mascarenas

He was also a good student and his family said he could’ve graduated high school as a sophomore. His dad said he was currently attending college at Northern New Mexico and getting a paid internship from Los Alamos National Lab.

“That’s the thing about Zach, he had a lot of goals and his stuff together, a lot of people saw it,” said Nate Mascarenas. “He had that old soul, he had that mentality of he needed to get stuff done and progress.”

Bernalillo County deputies said the crash happened Sunday night on I-40 near Tijeras. We’re told it was a two-car collision and Mascarenas died on the scene. A woman in Mascarenas’ car did survive the crash but suffered severe injuries. Deputies said the crash is still under investigation.

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