Double Funeral Planned for Teens Killed in Wreck

A combined funeral service has been planned for two Denton Independent School District students who were killed in a wreck last weekend.
Jhon Bernal, 16, was a sophomore at Denton High, and Bryan Moreno-Peña, 14, was an eighth-grader at Strickland Middle School.

The two students died Saturday after their sport utility vehicle collided with a car in the 3700 block of North Elm Street and then rolled across the median into the northbound lanes, police said. 

Bernal was driving the SUV. Peña was in the backseat of the vehicle and died at the scene, the Dallas Morning News reported. Denton police say Bernal was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Peña's older brother, who was in the passenger seat, was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released hours later.

Police said the driver of the sedan, a 17-year-old student at Winfree Academy Charter, had non-life-threatening injuries. Friends and teachers said the boy was Bernal's best friend.

A makeshift memorial could be seen at the site of the wreck on Monday. Alex Vasquez visited the memorial Monday afternoon. He knew both the boys and said their death has put things in perspective for him.

"Sometimes we just do things just to do them, just cause we're at that age and mindset where we don't care," Vasquez said. "But as teenagers we need to take more consideration on what we're doing." 

Some teachers said they remember Bernal because of the way he spelled his first name "Jhon." Other teachers said they remember him because of his smile.

"He always came to my class and was welcoming. He'd say 'Hi Miss Ness, how are you?' and always had a smile on his face, no matter what was going on," Ashley Ness said.

Ness was Bernal's history teacher last year. She said the 16-year-old was always selling candy and snacks to other students.

"He was the perfect salesman, always trying to get them to really buy more than they wanted," she said. "It always made me laugh, but he would always buy me free stuff, I guess that was the perk of being the teacher."

The funeral mass has been set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Church, located at 2255 North Bonnie Brae Street in Denton. There will be a rosary at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the same location.     

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