The chief executive of a property management company for several residences near the site where a Costa Mesa teen crashed his car, leading to fatal injuries, has personally apologized to the teen's family after they were forced to remove a memorial built for him.
Cary Treff, head of Keystone Pacific Property Management, also told Luis Adrian Torres' family that they can bring the memorial back. It had been set up along Susan Street near Sunflower Avenue in a privately owned median that Treff's Irvine-based company manages for the adjacent residential community, Providence Park.
"On behalf of the Providence Park Homeowners Assn. Board of Directors, the Keystone Pacific Property Management team has contacted the family of Luis Torres to reiterate that no one from the [board] or Keystone Pacific Property Management team gave any direction to remove the memorial from the association-owned median," Treff wrote in a statement to the Daily Pilot on Friday.
"The Providence Park board was upset to learn that they had been misrepresented, and we have told family representatives that they are welcome to reinstall the memorial in the median should they wish to do so."
Monica Soto, Torres' mother, said that her family plans to rebuild the memorial 2 p.m. Saturday.
The collection of flowers, photos and other mementos set up where police say 19-year-old Torres, driving at a high rate of speed, crashed his 1990 Jaguar XJ-6 into a tree early Sunday had been up for nearly 48 hours when the family was told to take it down Tuesday. They later reassembled it in their Westside home for private mourning.
The Torres family said they now believe the woman who ordered them to clear the private property was an employee, not a resident, of Providence Park.
[Update: Treff said there are no onsite employees at the complex, nor is there an onsite office.]
Family friend Mary Thomas Sanders said Treff was personally contributing toward the $4,500 the Torres family hopes to raise for funeral costs.
"[Treff] was very sincere ... . He really was," Sanders said.
Treff would not comment on the donation.
"We may or may not make a donation to the memorial fund," he said in an email. "We would like that to remain between the family and us."
Since Sunday, Torres' family and friends have held fundraising bake sales and a car wash. They also started a fundraising website, which has received several anonymous donations.
Employees at various Chipotle locations have chipped in.
So far, at least $3,000 has been raised online, but the family hasn't compiled an official total from all efforts.
On Friday afternoon, more than 50 cars had been washed for the cause in the parking lot of Harbor Christian Fellowship, on West Wilson Street.
Soto, wearing a shirt with her son's picture on it, was reminiscing about his hairstyles and persona, which seemed to change every few months. She also remarked about how many people have stepped forward to help in the memory of her son.
"I knew he had friends, but not this many," Soto said.
A free benefit concert in Torres' memory will be held from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday at 709 S. Anaheim Boulevard, Anaheim. The venue is a residence.
A public funeral service viewing will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday at Harbor Christian Fellowship Church, 740 W. Wilson St., Costa Mesa.
The burial service for family only will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary, 1702 E. Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana.