OHS Students Mourning their Loss

by Jacqueline Sit
NewsWest 9

I spoke with a teacher earlier and he says the students here are still shock and shaken after what happened Monday.

"I saw him yesterday leaving with his helmet, I was like no, nuh uh.  I couldn't believe it I just, completely unbelievable," Christian Fierro, Salazar's classmate.

Unbelievable to all, leaving classmates of Joseph Salazar in shock and full of sadness, he died on his 18th birthday.

"I couldn't believe it, I just thought to myself there's no way, he was a good friend I really appreciated having him as one," Rene Fierro, a cross country teammate, said.

"He was really funny, he always made everyone smile, and he was kind of the class clown in cross country team," Lacy McKinney, who has known Salazar since 7th grade, said.

Salazar had quite a sense of humor, that's how long time friend and cross country teammate Lacy McKinney always remembered him.  He was close to his family, friends and spent countless hours pursuing his passion.

"He was really dedicated so he was one of the really strong runners in our team," McKinney said.

One teacher says the teen was very involved in and outside of campus.  He was also a football trainer, and played the trumpet in the school's band.  In class, he wasn't afraid to speak up.

"He was very much a contributor in my class, and he was not afraid to speak what he had to speak, I teach American Government, and he was very much involved in that," Robert McMinn, a teacher at Odessa High School, said.

But above all, he spent most of his time doing what he loved most, running and being part of this family who says will continue to run in memory of him.

"We're going to go state for him, he always talked about state, and we're going to go for state," Rene Fierro adds, "he was part of our cross country family, we're all a big family and he always will be with us."

Funeral arrangements for Joseph Salazar are still pending.