PANORAMA CITY (CBS) — A standout 17-year-old high school athlete was mourned by friends and family Saturday, a day after he died at a party where kids were reportedly binge drinking.
Edward Lawrence, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9,said the news of Salvador Preciado's death spread quickly on Twitter and facebook.
More than 200 students, parents and family members attended the memorial and vigil held this evening outside Panorama High in Panorama City.
Police are investigating the death as toxic poisoning from alcohol. Friends said Preciado was so inebriated he fell off a table and hit his head.
Lawrence said Preciado's mother and brother were among the first mourners to drop of flowers and candles.
Irma Guevara, Preciado's mother, said "The thing is that nobody can give me an explanation of what happened. I knew he was at party.. he had my permission."
Preciado didn't tell his mother the parents of the party giver would be away, or that alcohol would be served.
She told Lawrence that many facebook posts boasted about how much alcohol was being consumed.
After passing out and falling off the table, one of Preciado's friends took him to the friend's house to sleep it off. The friend reportedly told Preciado's mother that he was sleeping and that he was fine.
She went to the friend's house this morning when she got no answer from his cell phone. She went into a back room and discovered her son dead. She said it appeared he may have choked on his own vomit.
A stunned mother recalls, "I am like 'Sal.. wake up it's me.' I take a blanket off him. When I uncover him, his body was all purple."
She called 911 but he was already gone.
Guevara believes if her son was that intoxicated he should have been taken home, or to a hospital. "Maybe if someone would call an ambulance. Or they would have notified me. Right now he probably would be alive."
This past week, Preciado was looking at tuxedos for graduation festivities. His friends were planning his 18th birthday party -- set for two weeks from now.
They will now help plan his funeral and memorial service.
Friend Arnold Iraheta, doesn't know how he's going to handle his grief. He told Lawrence, "I look at my phone and the first thing I see is Sal is... he passed away. I don't know how to react. I think it's a sick joke.
An officials cause of death might be released by the coroner as early as Monday.
for more features.