An 18-year-old high schooler died Saturday morning after he fell off the moving Jeep he was reportedly hanging onto on Glendora Mountain Road.
Jacob Mendez-Alonso, a student at Whitcomb Continuation High School, died at Foothill Presbysterian Hospital in Glendora Saturday, May 21 after sustaining head injuries after he fell from a moving 2012 Jeep Wrangler north of Big Dalton Canyon Road.
The accident was reported to the California Highway Patrol at 12:41 a.m., said Officer Michelle Bond of the CHP Traffic Management Center.
The black Jeep Wrangler was driven by a 17-year-old male northbound when Mendez-Alonso climbed out onto the passenger side running board. Mendez-Alonso fell and struck his head on the asphalt while the Jeep was moving at 45 miles per hour, according to a CHP press release.
The driver and fellow passengers stopped to call 9-1-1 and help their friend.
Glendora Police assisted with the crash scene and arrested two allegedly drunk occupants of the Jeep, a 19-year-old male and 15-year-old male, who reportedly tried to obstruct the investigation, said Lt. Rob Lamborghini of Glendora Police.
Roman Romero, 19, was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct from alcohol and possession of marijuana. He was issued a citation and released.
The 15-year-old boy was issued a citation for being drunk in public and was released to the custody of his parents, Lamborghini said.
The 17-year-old driver was released to his father, according to the CHP.
There was no word given if alcohol or drugs played a factor in Mendez-Alonso’s fall from the Jeep.
Word of the teen’s death spread quickly amongst friends and classmates of Whitcomb Continuation High School:
Mendez-Alonso has been a student of Whitcomb since his sophomore year.
Friend and classmate Taylor Lefevre, 18, knew Mendez-Alonso since their time at Sandburg Middle School and remembers him as being full of positive energy.
“I’ve never seen Jacob in a bad mood. Ever. I’ve never seen him sad, I’ve never seen him upset. He honestly made everyone laugh. He was the class clown,” Lefevre said. “Jacob was very hard working. He really knew what he wanted to do.”
One of Mendez-Alonso’s teachers, who wished to not be named, said “”He always had a smile and had a great personality–everyone liked him. He was always happy. It is hard to believe this has happened. He was a good student, hardly ever missed school.”
“This was a tragic accident for a student set to graduate in a few days and really get started with his adult life. Our condolences go out to Jacob’s family, to Whitcomb High School, and to the entire Glendora school community,” said Glendora Unified Superintendent Robert Voors. “By all accounts, Jacob was known to take responsibility for his actions, was a great athlete and and was one of the most popular kids on campus. He will be missed.”
Whitcomb High School’s graduation ceremony is set for Tuesday, May 24 at 5 p.m. at Citrus College.
Zak Bushey contributed to this story.