East Bay

Dublin High Reopens For First Time Since 3 Students Died in Crash

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Students at Dublin High School returned to school Tuesday morning for the first time since three of their classmates were killed in a car crash on Christmas Day.

The school district said extra grief counselors and staff were expected to be on campus for any students or teachers who need to talk or need help coping with the tragedy. Therapy dogs also were at the school Tuesday and expected to be there all week.

Twin brothers Mark and Michael Urista and their friend Javier Ramirez were killed Christmas night when the vehicle they were in crossed the center line and crashed into a tree along Foothill Road, just outside Pleasanton.

Two other people, the Uristas' cousin and another friend from Dublin High, were seriously injured.

The district posted a banner on social media Tuesday, asking everyone to wear the boys' favorite color red on campus to honor their memory. With the hashtag: #LONGLIVEMMJ. Many students showed up wearing red.

Principal Maureen Byrne began the day with a moment of silence for the three teens. Ramirez's best friend Julia, for one, has been struggling to cope.

"The first day was definitely the hardest," she said. "I feel like we were all in shock and a lot of tears. I haven’t been crying as much, but I think today is going to open up a new wound because it’s just gonna be set in reality that they’re not here again."

The Uristas' mother told NBC Bay Area the teens were helping each other practice in preparation for their upcoming driver's license test. The CHP has not yet said what role, if any, that may have played in the crash.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved.

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