By Tadzio Garcia
A fiery car crash claimed the life of 19-year-old student Christopher Anthony “Kris” Millan of East Los Angeles College, July 24.
“We knew something was off when he didn’t show up the next day. We called him and his family said he did not come home,” teammate Pasha Sabet said.
Several ELAC wrestlers said that they had heard about an accident involving a car like Millan’s and hoped it was a coincidence.
Millan was driving to Canoga Park from wrestling training class at ELAC when his Honda was rear-ended on the Ronald Reagan Freeway in Granada Hills.
The gas tank exploded and his car immediately burst into flames. Millan was later identified through dental records.
A dedicated wrestler and student is now gone, according to Sabet.
“Why did it have to be him? We have lost a family member and can’t even talk about him right now,” Sabet said.
A funeral was held Aug. 16 at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.
The wrestling team will be collecting money for the Millan family at every match this season, according to Ralph Valle, ELAC head wrestling coach.
“We want to raise money to help the family with the costs of the funeral,” Sabet said.
The Chris Anthony Millan Fund, created by a Millan family member, raised $1,653 through the first month as of Sept. 2.
Millan was competing for a starting spot on the ELAC wrestling team. He told Valle he wanted to wrestle at a Division I university.
“I told him that was not going to happen. After watching his dedication and determination, wrestling at a four-year (institution) was a possibility,” Valle said.
“Wrestling teaches you about life, commitment, working alone and with a group. He did that well. He never missed a practice. I was looking forward to working with him during the season,” said Valle.
According to Millan’s teammates, Millan took buses early in the morning to get to class.
“I would bring him sometimes, but his schedule was a longer day than mine. He would take buses early morning and get home late like 10 or 11 p.m,” Sabet said.
Millan began wrestling at Chatsworth High School. “I was his teammate there and then his coach at Chatsworth,” ELAC teammate Maury Dexter Lemons said.
Lemons was choked up describing his friend. “Kris had one of the most can-do attitudes, always ready to learn and willing to go. He never backed down. He was fearless,” Lemons said.
Donations may be made to the family through the Chris Anthony Millan Fund at gofundme.com/krisanthonymillanfund.