CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Hundreds of loved ones came together Wednesday to remember South Bay star athlete Micha Pietila-Wiggs, who died in a car crash over the weekend near the border.
A vigil was held at Eastlake High School where Pietila-Wiggs attended school and on the field where he left such a mark playing baseball.
“He’s like everybody’s best friend,” said David Gallegos, one of Pietila-Wiggs’ former baseball coaches.
There was no lack of words to describe Pietila-Wiggs. The 21-year-old athlete left a lasting mark on his Eastlake Chula Vista community.
“Hopefully that’s really what people walk out of this with,” said Doug Holman, Pietila-Wiggs’ former Eastlake Little League coach. “You can live life like Micah and cherish every moment, with every person,” said Doug Holman, Pietila-Wiggs’ former Eastlake Little League coach.
Pietila-Wiggs was driving a Ford F-150 truck southbound on Interstate 5, north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 5 a.m. Saturday when he lost control and crashed into a concrete barrier, California Highway Patrol said in a news release. He was rushed to UCSD Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
His loss is being felt by many, evident by the sizable crowd who came out to show him love Wednesday.
“People flew in from all over the United States to come and attend this vigil for Micah,” Gallegos said.
His list of accolades was long: multiple baseball championship wins at Eastlake High School, a 2019 season with the University of New Mexico, a continuing college baseball career, and of course when he helped take the Eastlake Little League team to the 2013 World Series.
“There’s not any kid that’s been more of an iconic figure in his time,” said Joe Heinz, CIF San Diego commissioner and close family friend. “Not just for his athletic ability, but for his character, enthusiasm, contagious smile, generosity – just him as a human being.”