SAN MARCOS – Javier Alvarez wasn't planning on going out Tuesday night.

But he was up for a little fun when two friends called and said they were going to sneak out of the house to party.

First they drove to a spot on Questhaven Road rumored to be haunted and then to a friend's house in Escondido for more alcohol, friends said.

The boys' night out turned deadly on the way home when their Honda Accord skidded off the freeway, slid down an embankment and wrapped around a tree early Wednesday morning.

Alvarez, 15, and driver Justin Gallegos, 16, were killed. Hours later, a Caltrans worker checking sprinklers discovered the wreckage off state Route 78 and Interstate 15.

Investigators smelled alcohol in the car but did not find any containers.

It is the second alcohol-related crash in the Escondido area recently, leaving a total of five young men dead within the span of a month.

In May, Colby Taylor and Shant Keledjian, both 19, and Cameron Davis, 21, left a party and were killed after crashing into a tree on Mount Israel Road in Del Dios.

Justin Gallegos
“There's an overconfidence. They think they're invincible,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Kerns. “Reality only hits when it becomes reality.”

Other factors – high speeds, foggy weather, slick roads and inexperienced driving – also probably played a role in Wednesday's crash, Kerns said.

Justin, who had taken his mother's car without permission, only had a learner's permit, he said.

Javier's girlfriend, 14-year-old Rosa Cobian, said she was told the boys had been partying that night. She said the other friend along for the night, identified only as Hugo, was dropped off right before the crash.

Javier Alvarez
“He felt like it was his fault he let them go like that,” Rosa said.

He recalled that night with regret in a message he posted on Justin's Myspace page.

“It was juss like 10 mins ago u dropped me off next thing i kno your gone i told u to let me drive why dont ppl listen but look wat happen mann i prayed 2 god wen we were in the car to protect us i prayed and prayed no joke but i guess things still went wrong R.I.P BRO.”

The deaths have left two families and many friends struggling with grief as they made funeral plans yesterday and gathered to share memories.

The news was hard on the Cobian sisters. Rosa's sister, Sandra, was dating Justin.

In the garage of one San Marcos home, friends signed their names and wrote messages to “Javi” yesterday in a spray-painted memorial.

“He was always laughing and imitating everybody,” said Javier's brother, Marcos Alvarez.

said her boyfriend was a gang member who never thought he would graduate from high school or go to college. He was kicked out of Twin Oaks High School and recently enrolled in Vista Summit, a continuation school.
“But the day before the accident he told me he wanted to do something with his life,” she said. “He wanted to go to college.”

His uncle, Miguel Loreto, said Javier “was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Viewing for Javier will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Eternal Hills Memorial Park, 1999 El Camino Real in Oceanside. The memorial service will be the following day at noon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 3821 Adams St. in Carlsbad.

Services for Justin will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at Allen Brothers Mortuary, 435 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. at St. Mark's Catholic Church, 1147 W. Discovery St., in San Marcos.