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SALT LAKE CITY — Around 100 people braved the chilly weather Wednesday night to pay tribute to a teenage boy who died in an accident on his way to school.
They gathered around an impromptu vigil near the intersection of 600 North at 900 West, where 14-year-old Edwin Cardoso was hit by a truck when he was crossing the street.
One of the mourners, Carla Flores, was friends with Cardoso. She and other classmates at West High School heard about his death from their teachers.
"I just broke down; I was crying," Flores said.
Classmate Jordan Myers called Cardoso a "great guy."
"I wish he was still here with us, and I love him as a brother," Myers said.
Details of the accident
Just after 7 a.m., Cardoso was crossing 600 North at 900 West, in a crosswalk, when he was hit by a utility truck making a left turn, said Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brian Purvis.
Both the boy and the truck had a green light, but the truck failed to yield to the pedestrian, who had the right of way, Purvis said.
Cardoso, who was on his way to West High School, suffered a head injury. Just after 8:30 a.m., police announced he had died.
The Salt Lake City School District issued a statement about 11:30 a.m. on behalf of West High School.
"West High School is saddened by the tragic loss of one of our students. Edwin Cardoso, a ninth-grade student, was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident this morning. Information about the accident has been shared with teachers and staff, and they have been asked to watch for any students who may be struggling as news of the accident spreads. School counselors are ready and available for any students who may need help."
Jason Olsen, a spokesman for the school district, said the district is making school counselors available to any student who needs help.
"You have the student who passed away and that is tragic, but we also need to deal with the students who are now just learning about this," Olsen said. "We have counselors in place. We have a room set aside where they can have something to eat, something to drink and work through those feelings and the grieving process right now."
About 25 students initially sought support, he said, but that number continued to grow Wednesday as students found out more information about the accident during their lunch hour.
"This is two in two days, and it's not what we want to happen," Olsen said.
He urged both drivers and pedestrians to be extra careful around crosswalks.
Yellow police tape surrounded a large area of the intersection Wednesday morning as detectives investigated the accident. A backpack and other items from Cardoso remained in the middle of the street, close to the crosswalk.
A man who said he was the father of the driver who hit Cardoso said his son, 19, was extremely shaken by the incident. Purvis said there were no signs of impairment. He said the roads were wet and it was still dark at the time of the accident.
"I feel horrible about it," said Eusebio Echeveste, a senior at West High. "I saw the parents this morning, and it was actually just tragic to see the mom crying. Other drivers should be careful, even when you are yielding. That was the main problem because they were both green and he didn't look out."
Gerardo Galvez said he was driving to school with his friends and was rerouted because of the accident. Galvez said he found out what had happened after he got to school.
"A lot of my friends told me that some kid got ran over, and then I heard that it was Edwin," he said. "He was an acquaintance. It's really sad to see him pass away."
Tuesday morning, a 16-year-old East High School student was hit while crossing the street near the school. The boy was not in a crosswalk.
"Unfortunately, it tends to happen in the fall when the weather changes," Purvis said. "The time change hasn't happened yet, so when the kids are walking to school, it's still dark, there's a lot of traffic on the road … and it can be very difficult to see people."
Contributing: Jeff Finley
Contributing: Mary Richards