GO FUND ME FOR CHANDLER RAY
Santa Fe High School football player Chandler Ray died Thursday evening after being struck by a car while riding his bike at the intersection of Studebaker Road and Firestone Blvd. in Norwalk. He was 17.
Ray, a junior defensive lineman who alternated between the Chiefs varsity and junior varsity teams, was riding home from a friends house when he was hit by a car. It’s unclear whether clear Ray passed away at the scene or at a local hospital.
“It was just an accident, it was just one of those accidents,” Santa Fe varsity football coach Dave Pierson said. “I think we’re still kind of all in shock and somewhat disbelief. I know a lot of our players are. They can’t believe this happened and it’s very unfortunate.”
There was vigil held for Ray on Thursday evening, which Pierson and Ray’s teammates and Santa Fe students attended. Ray is the second local football player to pass away under fluke circumstances recently.
In late November, Whittier Christian defensive lineman Ethan Hawks died from injuries suffered from being struck by an object that flew into his mother’s car while the two were driving on a local freeway.
“When it strikes one of your teammates, one of your players, it strikes right to the core,” Pierson said.
Pierson said that Ray was a popular student due to his outgoing nature. He often went out of his way to visit teachers at the school every morning and give them a hug, regardless of whether he was in their class.
“He was a kid that you liked to have around,” Pierson said. “He was a great-spirited kid, very outspoken, he had his own opinion, but always listening to other people’s opinions. He was a strong football player and a strong athlete.
I was looking forward to seeing him as a senior, but obviously we’re not going to have that. It’s back to the things that really matter. Not athletics, but kids growing up.”
Pierson said that the Whittier Police Department is planning to make a donation toward Ray’s funeral arrangements. There is also a GoFundMe page for those seeking to offer help for Ray’s family.
“By no means does this family have loads of money running around,” Pierson said. “It’s just another family where an unforeseen tragedy has taken everybody aback.”