Teen dies in spring break crash: 'Everyone knew him and loved him'

Teen dies in spring break crash: 'Everyone knew him and loved him'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A spring break getaway ended tragically early Saturday morning for a Bakersfield family. Highland High School basketball star Derrick Duff was asleep in the backseat of a car, headed home from Pismo Beach, when the driver lost control on Highway 101.

Duff, 18, was ejected from the vehicle and died.

Over the weekend, people close to Duff said they couldn't believe he was gone. The teen's friends and teammates gathered at a basketball court near his high school Sunday to pay tribute.

A Facebook page was set up Saturday, dedicated to Duff. Fellow Highland students and friends wrote kind words in remembrance.

“Derrick, everyone knew him and loved him,” Lauren Persel said. “He was really nice guy, and I think he was the heart of Highland. I think a lot of people looked up to him and were friends with him.”

Friends said Duff dreamed of playing college ball back in his home state of Illinois.

Younger brother Derrius Duff said his big brother was his role model, and he will always remember the great times they had.

A memorial will be held either Tuesday or Wednesday at Valley Bible Fellowship in Bakersfield. Duff will be laid to rest back in his hometown of Aurora, Ill.