By CBSLA Staff

WHITTIER (CBSLA) – An emotional vigil was held Saturday for a teenage driver killed by a suspected drunk driver.

“He was my best friend and buddy. I miss him so much,” Damon Hayward said of his 18-year-old son, Garret.

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The 18-year-old’s life was cut short in a deadly DUI crash.

Hayward was overcome with emotion with grief has he shared memories of Garret.

Loved ones gathered for a candlelight vigil near the intersection of Lambert and Colima in Whittier, where the teen was hit and killed while he was on his way to pick up his girlfriend, at around 5:30 a.m. last week, to shop on Black Friday.

Authorities said he had the green light when he was hit and his vehicle burst into flames. The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

“You see these things on TV, but you never think it will happen to you, but it does. You better tell everybody, your loved ones, how much you love them,” the victim’s aunt, Angela Paredes, said.

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The teen’s uncle, Paul Paredes, told CBSLA how proud the family was of Garret.

“A lot of goals ahead of him he wanted to accomplish. He was a smart kid. We were very, very proud of him,” he said.

Police said the suspected drunk driver, 34-year-old Darrell Jewett, initially ran from the scene, but was later arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI.

The teenage Hayward was a freshman at Cal State Channel Islands and was studying to become a doctor.

Relatives said their faith is helping them endure the unimaginable loss. They want to see the driver responsible punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“The important thing is we need to get these people off the street. People like this who are causing these problems, killing innocent people,” the victim’s father said.

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A memorial of flowers and candles mark the spot where Hayward took his last breaths.