Vigil Planned for Student Killed by Drunk Driving Suspect

Alan Scaia
December 02, 2019 - 1:48 pm
Benjamin Castaneda

Castaneda Family


DALLAS (KRLD) - Friends and family of a North Side High School student killed by a drunk driving suspect on Thanksgiving are planning a vigil outside the school in Fort Worth Monday evening.

Benjamin Castaneda, 17, was a senior at North Side High School.

He was driving down Loop 820 about 5 a.m. Thursday when police say he was hit by a wrong-way driver in North Richland Hills.

Castaneda was killed in the crash. Several others were hurt. The other driver, Noemi Martinez, was charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Castaneda played for the school's mariachi band and the outside band, Mariachi Orgullo Mexicano. Mariachi Orgullo Mexicano played a tribute to Castaneda Saturday night.

"We must continue singing to our Virgin of Guadalupe, asking for strength," the group wrote.

His family says Castaneda had "big dreams and hopes of pursuing his mariachi career."

The family started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his funeral. The family's goal was $9,000. By noon Monday, 368 people had donated more than $17,000.

"Isaac was an amazing young man full of life and joy," the family wrote in the post. "If you think of him, I’m sure the first thing you think of is his smile. He had such an amazing heart, that even as he has been taken away from us, he is still giving. He is donating his organs, just as he had wanted to. He is leaving us and simultaneously saving multiple lives."

Friends and family are planning a candlelight vigil outside North Side High School Monday evening at 6 p.m. The school had grief counselors available Monday.