GLENDORA (CBS) — Friends gathered near the spot where a 14-year-old Glendora boy lost his life Wednesday after he was hit by a Metrolink train.
Brayden Barrett, a friend of Mitchal Sata’s, said, “You never really know how much you care about someone until they’re gone.” He added, “We’re just paying our respects to Mitchal.”
Joy Benedict, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, said these Covina teens were solemn … still trying to come to terms with the accident that took their friend’s life. They sat, played music, and cried. They lit candles. They mostly sat just watching trains go by and trying to make sense of their tragic loss.
Sata, a student at Royal Oak Middle School, was to start high school next month.
He was killed — after hanging out with friends — walking home around 5:20 p.m.
Officials believe Sata — wearing earphones — was listening to music and possibly texting while walking. He apparently didn’t hear the train approaching as he walked across the tracks. A road he walked numerous times.
Said Michael Ramirez, a Sata friend, “Walking to and from school trying to get around … we always pass here. I never thought it would happen like this.”
Friends remembered Sata for the things he loved to do. “He liked to draw, he liked to paint,” said Barrett.
As sad and incomprehensible as Sata’s death is, the friends told Benedict it would make them all a lot more cautious.
Marisa Hernandez said, “I’m pretty positive that what happened to Mitch is very eye opening, it will make everyone wiser.”
Barrett learned, “Look both ways before crossing the street. Stuff can happen easy.”
“He didn’t deserve this,” said another friend choking back tears.
Hernandez is trying to reconcile the tragedy with her faith. “They say God does things for a reason. I just hope that doing this was the right thing and it’s worth it.”
Sata’s memorial service is planned for next Saturday, reports Benedict.