Chad Zabish, a freshman science major at UC Irvine, told his mother Saturday night that he and a friend were going out to a film festival in Costa Mesa and would be back about 1 a.m.
The 19-year-old from Cypress never returned. An investigator from the Orange County coroner's office awakened Zabish's mother about 2:30 a.m. and told her that her only child had been killed in a traffic accident.
Zabish's childhood friend, David Moore, 19, also a UCI freshman from Cypress, suffered a broken jaw and numerous cuts in the 12:47 a.m. Sunday accident at the rain-slick intersection of Orangewood and Knott avenues in Cypress, Cypress Police Officer Jeff Wong said.
Moore was listed in good condition Sunday at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Wong said the accident happened when a Toyota pickup hit broadside a red MG convertible being driven by Moore.
The teen-agers in the truck--a couple returning from a late dinner--escaped serious injury, Wong said. Eighteen-year-old Erica Kortje of Huntington Beach told officers that she was driving because her boyfriend, William MacIntosh, 19, of Stanton, had been drinking. Both were treated and released for minor injuries at Humana Hospital in Westminster. Police ask that any witnesses call Cypress police at (714) 229-6600.
Zabish's grandmother, Betty Zabish, 64, of Cypress, said her grandson had graduated with honors last year from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, where he played on the school's water polo team. A friend of Zabish since first grade, Moore graduated at the same time and both enrolled in fall classes at UC Irvine, Betty Zabish said.
Chad Zabish had also been working for the past year at the Compact Disc Center in Los Alamitos. The store owner, Bob Barrett, said Zabish was a model employee.
Betty Zabish said he was her only grandson. His father had died at age 25 of cancer, and within three years of that his maternal grandparents also died of cancer.
Zabish's mother, Candice Stacy, 41, was too distraught to comment Sunday. But her husband, Larry Stacy, 41, said the accident was especially tragic because the teen-ager had been doing so well in school and at work and looked forward to a career as a marine biologist.
According to Wong, Moore and Zabish were returning home on westbound Orangewood Avenue at the same time that Kortje and MacIntosh were headed home south on Knott Avenue.