PHOTO COURTESY of DAVID JAREGUI
Editor in Chief
On Oct. 15, the unexpected death of former AHS student Samantha Blackwood, after sustaining injuries from a car accident on the I-10 freeway, shocked friends and family members. The 20-year-old was driving a 2006 Scion XB when she accidentally hit a guardrail, according to the California Highway Patrol. As reported by the Desert Sun, authorities have stated that they did not suspect intoxication or drug abuse as contributing factors.
Though not a graduate of AHS, Blackwood was a student here for three years before transferring to the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts her senior year to pursue acting and singing, where she participated in the school play “Cannibal.” During her time here at AHS, Blackwood was in the Thespians Society as well as AVID. Her brother Phalann Blackwood also attended and graduated from AHS.
“Samantha was an absolute delight to have in my journalism program. Always happy and inquisitive, she was a real joy and had a smile that lit up the room. I’m saddened that she is no longer with us physically and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family,” English chair Mark Padilla said.
A funeral mass was held for Blackwood on Oct. 24 at the Saint Thomas More Church in Alhambra. It was there that her friends and family remembered Blackwood and honored her memory as they reminisced about her life.
“It is a joke in our family that we should have named her Grace as she [was] always tripping and clumsy. This is also the little girl who claimed that her shadow tripped over her,” her mother, Pamela Blackwood, said.
Blackwood wanted to become a lawyer and, specifically, pursue a career in family law. According to her mother, she had become very close to two children she babysat over the past year and a half and knew firsthand the impact of divorce on children. As such, she decided that she wanted to work with children, especially those in such a crucial time of need.
Though the sudden passing of Samantha Blackwood remains tragic and heartbreaking, she is succeeded by her family, friends and community members. Her memory is remembered, honored and cherished in the hearts of all those who had the fortune of meeting her.
“Sam touched so many lives in the 20 years we had her,” Pamela Blackwood said. “Phalann and I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and sympathy in memory of Sam. Please just keep praying for us as we lost her so unexpectedly.”