Friends rally in Strasburg to honor teen killed in crash and help his family


Riley Young

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STRASBURG, Colo. -- A memorial celebration and candlelight vigil was held Friday night in the Strasburg High School gym for a teen killed by a speeding driver who was fleeing from police.

The crash happened Oct. 2 in Weld County. Riley Young, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The teen's tight-knit group of friends have worked tirelessly the past week to make sure his memory is not forgotten and his family is taken care of.

Inside Strasburg High School, Young’s life is now memorialized in a frame. His basketball jersey, with his number 31 matted behind shiny glass.

“He was just a really happy guy. He was super smart,” said Bryce Widgren, a senior at Strasburg High School.

“I’ve never lived life to the fullest until I met Riley,” said Kaden Wokowsky, also in the senior class. “When Riley got in the crash he had a pink lighter in my pocket and I had one in my pocket too, so now everybody has pink lighters.

“It just doesn’t feel real."

“It’s been really hard, but we have a goal,” Widgren said.

From posters and collection jars to bracelets and t-shirts, the boys are looking for any way to raise money to help Riley’s family with funeral costs. The group even set up a Riley Young Memorial Fund in Riley’s memory.

“We’ve got jars and stuff set up all around town,” Widgren said.

“It helps remember him and kind of takes your mind off it,” friend Matt Bustos said.

The friends call it therapy, a tribute to a young life they will never forget.

“Its all just coming together really nicely," friend Jacob Ronfeldt said.

“We were all really used to seeing him everyday and its been really different without him,” Bustos said.

“I love him. He still my best friend forever,” Wokowsky said.

  • The bracelets are being sold for $5 and T-shirts for $15. They are available at the high school starting Oct. 22.
  • A silent auction is being held Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in the commons area of the Strasburg High School gym.
  • A bake sale will be held the same day and will be next to the circle drive.

The events are being held before the home football game against Bennett High School. Donations can be dropped off at Strasburg High School the week of Oct. 19-23.

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