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Teenage crash victim remembered by candlelight

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-12 23:43:41-05
Nov. 4, a Northwest High School senior lost his life in a drunk driving crash. 
 
Saturday, friends, family and classmates gathered to remember Jason Hald, 18. 
 
Hald was in the backseat of a friend’s car with a drunk driver.
 
Police say the driver ran a stop light at Sorensen Parkway and Wenninghoff Rd., slamming into a pickup truck.
 
The crash was about a block from Hald’s house. 
 
Dozens gathered near the home of crash victim for a candlelight vigil. 
 
A brisk November night in northwest Omaha, fitting for the warmth of candlelight and memories of a teenager described by many as a bright, shining person.
 
"You realize how good you raised your son, that he had so much support,” said Keri Deforest, Jason Hald’s mom. “It really means a lot that he had that many friends and that many friends cared about him. It's more than enough to believe."
 
"It feels good to know that a lot of other people loved him just as much as I did,” said Jason Hald’s dad Jamie Hald. “I'm glad that he has a bunch of great friends and support throughout the neighborhood."
 
Pictures, memories and candles dotted the small park between conversations about how much the neighborhood will miss the gentle giant.
 
"I love him and I'll never forget about him,” Deforest said. “If you ever think about getting in a car with someone whose been drinking, don't do it." 
 
The vigil was bittersweet, said Jamie Hald. 
 
"It's nice to see the support and everything, but it really hurts because of the reason for it," Hald said. 
 
Everyone KMTV asked about Jason Hald Saturday describe him as a positive person who made people feel better on sad days.
 
"Jason was bright,” Jaime Hald said. “He was a shining star. People gravitated towards him." 
 
One of those that gravitated towards Jason Hald is Nick Hagen, 17, who shared several classes with Jason at Northwest High School.
 
"It’s been rough,” Hagen said. “Going through the hallways without him, you definitely notice a difference. He was a big guy. He was a teddy bear basically, gentle and kind. I miss seeing him in the halls, giving him a handshake or high five if I needed it." 
 
Jason Hald is survived by three siblings.
 
There’s a GoFundMe page for the tragedy.