ANTIOCH -- Classes resumed at Deer Valley High on Monday, but school officials said a pall hung over the campus after the weekend death of a popular student in a car crash.
"You remember those kids in school who, when their name is brought up, you think, 'Oh yeah, I know him, great guy.' That's who he was," Deer Valley principal Ken Gardner said about 17-year-old senior Lydell Benjamin, who died in the wreck.
Benjamin was "Funny, articulate, kind," Gardner said.
Those sentiments were echoed by friends.
"Cool, he was cool. Hella funny. He always made everyone smile," said Michael Emerson, a junior at the school.
"He was outgoing and really funny," said a senior who declined to give his name.
Benjamin was a passenger in a silver Jaguar sedan that hit a tree about 7:10 p.m. Friday on Hillcrest Avenue near Sterling Hill Drive, police said. He and the driver were ejected from the car, and Benjamin was declared dead at the scene.
Police still have not said what led to the crash, but Antioch police Lt. John VanderKlugt said that two cars close to each other were speeding before the wreck and that police were contacted Saturday by the 18-year-old driver of the other car. That driver, who police have not identified, is cooperating, VanderKlugt said.
The driver of the Jaguar has not been identified, and police on Monday did not have an update on his condition. He was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek after the wreck.
A large group of friends, classmates and some family members gathered at a candlelight vigil at the crash scene on Saturday, but no such activities were planned Monday on the campus, Gardner said.
Two psychologists and a counselor were available at each of four "houses" on the Deer Valley campus on Monday, Gardner said. The campus has four such houses, each with classrooms and administrative offices.
Anyone with additional information about the crash is asked to call Antioch police at 925-778-2441.
Check back for updates.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH. Eve Mitchell also contributed to this report.