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Driver suspected of DUI kills 17-year-old, injures others, in Hwy 17 collision

A 17-year-old boy hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver near Santa Cruz early Saturday has been identified by family and friends as Armando Canales of Fremont.

Canales was a junior at Washington High School, and was riding in the backseat of a Toyota Corolla at about 2 a.m. when the car was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver on southbound state Highway 17 just south of Redwood Estates in unincorporated Santa Clara County.

“Armando was a football player, a son, a brother, a friend, funny, caring, with a promising future. He will be missed by all,” said a description on a GoFundme donation page created at

Community members have raised more than $10,600 for Canales’ funeral expenses as of Monday afternoon, and the Fremont Unified School District said on Twitter that its thoughts and prayers are with Canales’ family and the other injured students.

The California Highway Patrol arrested 28-year-old Ashley Marie Oliver of San Jose on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash.

She was driving a Chrysler minivan in the wrong direction on southbound Highway 17 when she struck the Toyota, which was carrying three girls and two boys aged 16 and 17.

CHP officers located both cars facing northbound in the southbound lanes with major damage, and county firefighters extricated Canales and another passenger from the Toyota.

The girl driving the car and two female passengers, all from Fremont, suffered major injuries but are expected to survive after being taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, according to the CHP. The remaining male passenger suffered minor injuries.

Oliver was hospitalized for moderate injuries and was booked into Santa Clara County Jail. She is scheduled to appear in Santa Clara County Superior Court for her arraignment on Wednesday.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office has not officially confirmed Canales as the decedent in the crash, but his family and friends are holding a candlelight vigil at the Washington High School flagpole Monday at 8 p.m.

Canales was a fire technology student at Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program, which provides adjacent technical training for high school students. MVROP officials said he was an active and well-liked student, and his firefighting gear will be placed in his assigned seat for the remainder of the year.

“Armando was a presence in the Fire Technology class. Known for his signature beaming smile and bushy hair, he was always willing to help the other students. His strong positive presence will be missed,” MVROP said in a statement.

There will also be a remembrance event on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Shakers Pizza, located at 4075 Thornton Ave. in Fremont.

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