In loving memory


Katie Newton and Annalee Gorman

Junior Hedayat Ebrahim Khel loved cars and dreamed of being a computer scientist, but his dreams ended on a winding road outside Auburn when he was killed in a car crash. 

Khel, 16, was one of two young passengers in a car driven by Mirwais Azimi, a 21-year-old man from Carmichael. Azimi was allegedly driving drunk around 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 when he lost control on a sharp curve on Foresthill Road. 

The boys were celebrating Niazr hitting two million views on a TikTok video, but the night ended in more grief than celebration.

He crashed his 2005 Toyota Matrix into a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol, and is now being charged for manslaughter. 

The other passenger, Samir Niaz, was also in the car and suffered a severe shoulder injury. He has returned to school. 

 While at Rio, Khel touched the lives of his friends and classmates both inside and outside of his classes. His peers were strongly affected by the recent news as they were more than just friends, they were a family. 

Khel was the first person Niazr met when he came from Afghanistan.

“He was like a brother to me,” said Niazr. “But halloween night is coming and he will not be here.”

Khel impacted those around him in a positive way, especially his peers in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

He was a very determined, and motivated student who persevered in school to set and achieve his goals.

“I appreciate Hedayat always came in to check what his grades and his credits were because he wanted to graduate at the end of this year,” said counselor Emily Greene. “He was very goal oriented, so he was always making sure he had everything.” 

Khel had a profound impact on his family and friends and he had qualities that distinguished him from his classmates. His charismatic personality allowed him to positively influence his classmates and hold the values his family taught him. His parents were very proud of the man he was and how he took up all the things they taught him.

After talking with his parents, Greene said, “They were so proud that everything was so clean, his locker was super clean, his bedroom was super clean, and they said that’s how they raised him and they were so proud he followed what they had taught him.”

He was known for humor and fun personality that made him stand out and create so many friends. He always knew how to put a smile on someone’s face every single day.

“He was the sun everyone circled around,” said Mirna Jope, who teaches English language learner classes.

While he may be gone now, the lasting impact he had on other people will continue to last for years.