Euless vigils honor three teens killed in crash



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Posted on July 31, 2013 at 10:45 PM

EULESS — The football-strong community of Euless is determined to never forget three young men killed in a tragic car accident on Monday night.

At a vigil at First Baptist Church of Euless on Wednesday night, more than 300 friends and family members gathered to remember brothers Lolo "Junior" Uhatafe, 13, and Polo Manaukainiu, 19.

Polo was a standout football player at Trinity  High School, and was attending Texas A&M, where he was expected to become a star.

"All he wanted to do was take care of his mom and his family," said family friend Tracey Westrom, as she fought back tears.

Also remembered was 18-year-old Gaius Vaenuku, a fellow Trinity graduate slated to start at Utah next season as a freshman.

When all three were killed in a single-car rollover outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday night, the staff at Euless Baptist knew it would be a difficult week.

"There are so many questions about, 'Why?''' said student minister Kent Wells during the vigil.

Earlier in the day, a separate vigil at Euless Junior High School honored Lolo.

He was remembered as a vibrant young teen anxious to prove himself on the football field, and follow in his brother's footsteps.

"He was always tagging along," Westrom said.

Funeral arrangements for all three teens are expected to be announced shortly.

Siaosi Uhatafe, and Salesi Uhatafe Sr., the brother and father of the two dead brothers, were injured in the crash, but have been released from the hospital.

New Mexico state police said none of the three teens who died were wearing seat belts.