SAN DIEGO – Friends of a former Point Loma Nazarene graduate killed in a fiery crash along state Route 67 said he lived an extraordinary life.
Lucas Makana Riley, 24, died Saturday night after an alleged drunk driver, who was driving a GMC Denali HD pickup truck northbound on SR-67 south of Cloudy Moon Drive, veered into on-coming traffic and collided with a Buick and Riley's Mini Cooper, the victim's friends told FOX 5. Riley's car exploded into flames on impact, investigators said. First responders were unable to pull him from the wreckage.
A 51-year-old driver was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The driver was later book on charges of manslaughter. There was no information released about the driver of the Buick.
For those who knew Riley, he will not be remembered by the senseless circumstances of his death, but rather the extraordinary life he lived in such a short time, his friend Alejandro Calderon said. Calderon has known Riley since they were kids through the San Diego City of Refuge Church.
“He had a really good heart. He was really into just being a friend to people. With our church, here, we go out in the streets and serve homeless people on Thursday nights - Lucas loved doing that," Calderon said. "We have a kids program for the inner-city kids - he loved that, too.”
Riley, who got engaged last year and was going to be married next month, was born and raised in Hawaii. He moved to San Diego to attend Point Loma Nazarene University.
Riley graduated Point Loma Nazarene in 2014. According to a statement released by the president of the school, "[Riley] was a talented sculptor, hardworking and kind and gentle soul. He continued to be very active in the art department working for the last year and half on a permanent public art piece for the County of San Diego."
“There’s something about somebody who is so full of life and all the sudden their life is gone - it's always it's kind like a cliché, but he really was one of those guys that was full of life, very energetic, very outgoing, very adventurous and very good at being good to people,” Calderon said.
“It is pretty awful thing to see someone loved by so many different people taken away and such a senseless way,” said Calderon.
Time and date for a memorial has not yet been publically announced.