DEL MAR — The Cathedral Catholic High School community is in mourning after two recent graduates died and three others were critically injured in a car crash near Bishop on Aug. 9.
In an act of solidarity, approximately 200 students, family members, family and friends congregated at the bluff overlooking Swami’s Beach on Aug. 11. The crowd prayed and held a memorial service before setting on a run along Highway 101 in honor of the two deceased athletes.
Natalie Nield, of Carlsbad, and Amanda Post, of Olivenhain, were among three people killed in a three-vehicle collision.
Fresh on the heels of commencement, many of the participants from the run said the news hadn’t yet settled in. One current student, who asked not to be identified, cried as she recalled fond memories of her two friends. “It’s like it isn’t really happening, but we’re all here to remember them,” she said. “I keep waking up hoping someone will say it was a mistake or a dream or something.”
Post, 18, was remembered as an honor’s student who was described by her father, Gregory Post as a kind, adventurous person. Post was set to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall on a track scholarship. She and her father attended freshman orientation just days before the fatal accident. Besides her father, Post is survived by her mother, Missy; brothers, Brian and Kevin; and sister, Hilary.
Nield, who would have turned 18 this week, was recalled fondly as the team’s captain and a service-oriented honors student. Beyond her many academic achievements, friends said she served as the president of the school’s Habitat for Humanity club and always offered encouraging words to others.
Nield was preparing to attend Loyola Marymount University. Her family, still in shock over her death, declined to be interviewed.
Post, Nield and former classmates Derek Thomas, 19, and Drew Delis, 22, both of Encinitas, were in an SUV with professional athletic trainer John Nathan Adams, 39, a Cardiff-by-the-Sea resident, when the crash occurred about 8:20 p.m. Aug. 9.
Thomas, Delis, Adams and several other passengers from the van that collided with the SUV suffered major burns and various injuries. California Highway Patrol officials said the investigation into what caused the crash is ongoing.
Thomas and Adams are listed in critical condition at different hospitals, while Delis is listed in fair condition.
Speakers encouraged the crowd to continue prayers and shows of support for the families of those killed and injured. “At times like these, when tragic events make absolutely no sense, it is critical that we pray,” said Becky Stalwart, a parent.
The memorial mass for Natalie Nield will be held at Cathedral Catholic High School’s, Claver Center Gymnasium on at 7 p.m. Aug. 15. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made in Natalie’s name to the CCHS Cross Country Team
A memorial service will be held for Amanda Post at Cathedral Catholic High School’s, Claver Center Gymnasium on at 7 p.m. Aug. 16.
The family is setting up an Amanda Post Scholarship Fund for donations in lieu of flowers and information will be posted on the school’s website, www.cathedralcatholic.org.