Mother finds forgiveness after son's death

September 7, 2009 8:38:47 PM PDT
A local mother says she's not holding any ill will against a teenager who's charged in connection with the death of her son last Friday.Alex Caballero, 17, died Friday afternoon right in front of his school. As you can imagine that boy's mother is heartbroken. As students prepare to head back to school after such a tragedy, she's still working on funeral arrangements and is forgiving.

For three days the shrine outside the home in Willis has grown. Friends and family members have lingered in the front yard, some clutching rosaries, others sharing stories, all in remembrance of Alex Caballero.

"It's a terrible loss," said John Espericueta, a friend of Alex.

The 17-year-old was killed Friday afternoon right in front of Willis High School. Accident investigators say he was attempting to get out of his friend's pickup when that friend hit the gas, throwing Alex into the path of an oncoming bus as dozens of students looked on.

"I saw him lying on the ground," Espericueta said. "We were in shock."

The driver of the pickup, José Sanchez, who's also a student, left the accident scene and rushed to Alex's mother.

"He said an accident happened to Alex," recalled Alicia Caballero, Alex's mother.

She knew it was bad.

"It's not the same life I'm going to have," Alicia said. "Without him, I don't want to live."

Alicia is grief stricken, but not placing blame on the boy who was driving.

"I forgive him already," she said. "It's hard to say and feel too, but if I hate him, my son is not going to come back."

It's up to the system now.

"If he did something wrong, if they find he did something wrong, it's not up to us to decide," said Elena Perez, Alex's aunt.

At home, Alex's mother just wants to focus on the nice memories.

She said, "He was always kissing me, kissing his father."

At school where ribbons adorn trees and a memorial marks the accident scene, it may be harder for the dozens of students who saw it happen.

"I think about it every day," said Hugo Chavez, a friend of Alex. "It's just sad."

Grief counselors will be available at Willis High School for students to talk. José Sanchez, 18, has been charged with failure to stop and render aid.

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