Jacob Hefter

Jacob Hefter, 18

Died: September 12, 2008
He was always trying to stay one step ahead of me. . . . He was a teachers' dream.
— Ed Vega, former teacher
Jacob Hefter, a 2008 graduate of Palmdale High School, was a student at Cal State Long Beach. A star student, he was considering a career in sports medicine. Hefter was heading to Simi Valley to meet his girlfriend when the train crashed.
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169 memories of Jacob

im so sorry this had to happen. i just know you were loved so much. my prayers go out to your family and friends. especially you stephanie. you loved him so much. i cant even imagine the pain you are going through but just know he will be with you where ever you go. stay strong.

R.I.P. Jacob you will truly be missed

— Shelbi
September 13, 2008 at 10:14 p.m.

Im so sorry.
My prayers are to the hefter family && stephanie.
you'll be missed by many && you'll never be forgotten.!

R.I.P Jacob

— jasmine
September 13, 2008 at 10:29 p.m.

Jacob brightened all of our lives. He will be missed immensely. This is not good-bye, but so long to a wonderful and true friend. We know we will see him again and look forward to that day. Until then we hold him dear in our hearts and treasure our fond and happy memories of him. We love you Jake. We love you Hefter family.

— Family Friend
September 13, 2008 at 10:53 p.m.

Jacob will be truly missed .. i remember your surprise birthday party and thinking you had the most perfect family i knew.. you are so lucky to be blessed with such beautiful people in your life, may you rest in peace..my prayers are with your family and everyone who loves you. cobes.. i will miss you so much.. cobes ..rip jacob

— Mirtha
September 13, 2008 at 11:15 p.m.

To the Heftner Family, I am deeply saddened to find out this news about Jacob. Although I did not know him personally, I was able to get a sense of him and your family through the time I spent with you at the command center at Chatsworth High School. It was apparent that Jacob was loved and came from a warm, wonderful family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time.

Tara-Sprint Representative with the computer and battery chargers

— Tara -Sprint Reprensentative
September 14, 2008 at 12:55 a.m.

I am so sorry
my prayers go out to the hefter family
you be miss by many and never forgotten

— Amor
September 14, 2008 at 7:47 a.m.

All of us have been touched by your family.Our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you. With reverence we think and remember Jacob. Knowing my daughters were blessed to know him, and his family too.

— Summey Family
September 14, 2008 at 9:11 a.m.

Jacob , you were probably one of nicest and well mannered indiviuals I ever coached and have ever known. I really don't think I can put into words the emotions that alot of us that you have touched are feeling right now. Rest in Peace Jake.

— Coach Ed
September 14, 2008 at 3:20 p.m.

My deepest sympathy to the family. May you rest in peace. God Bless!

— Edith Villasenor
September 14, 2008 at 3:50 p.m.

I knew nothing of you, i hadnt heard of you untill this... but from what ive heard, and from how many people have fallen to peices over you... i know you were something amazingly special...

rest in peace.. and know.. you will be missed and were loved to the greatest extent.

Phillipians 1:3


— A friend of a friend of a friend
September 14, 2008 at 6:23 p.m.

my prayers go out to the hefter family. i didnt know you jacob but im a student of ur moms.. ms. hefter im praying for you and your family.. hopefuly u stay strong and dont forget that "GD LOVES U" be strong... hes always going to be with you spiritually !!!

— eddielazaro
September 14, 2008 at 6:26 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hefter family during this very tragic time.

— Anne
September 14, 2008 at 6:59 p.m.

I didn't know you personally but I can feel your family's pain and sorrow. "The earth lost an extraordinary young man, but Heaven has gained an angel" God Blees you!

— Claudia
September 14, 2008 at 7:42 p.m.

My Prayers Go Out To The Family:

— Shannon Whitmore
September 14, 2008 at 8:19 p.m.

i just found out today.... and as crushed as i am to hear that my friend is dead his brothers have it way harder than i do. i love you jake. sleep well

— esb
September 14, 2008 at 8:39 p.m.

Although I did not know Jacob, as a resident of Palmdale and someone who knows what it is like to lose a loved one suddenly through such tragic means, I am especially saddened to hear of his passing, my prayers go out to the his family.

— Demita
September 14, 2008 at 10:27 p.m.

On July 29th I lost the love of my life, suddenly and tragically. Believe me, I know what you're going through right now. I cannot offer any words of comfort, because I know that there aren't any. You just live with the pain and it becomes a part of your life. I just wanted you to know that your are not alone. There are others united with you in your terrible sorrow, others who have asked the same question.....WHY? So much to live for, so many dreams and plans. I know and others know and share your deep sorrow.
I'll hold you in my heart.

— Peggy
September 14, 2008 at 11:21 p.m.

I am hurt to know that a young life has been taking away from all of us Angelenos. I learned that Jacob was a Long Beach State 49er, I graduated from Long Beach State in 2006'. May the Lord have your spirit in Heaven, as you watch upon your family.

— Leo-Los Angeles.
September 14, 2008 at 11:54 p.m.

All my prayers go out to the Hefter family! I'm really sorry for your loss! Jacob you will be missed by many but you will never be forgotten! We love you!

— Vanessa
September 15, 2008 at 2:15 a.m.

My deepest condolences to the Hefter family. Stay close to God right now. Rest in peace Jacob...you will never be forgotten.

— Tom
September 15, 2008 at 8:05 a.m.

My deepest sympathy for Jacob's family, God is taking care of him for you right now .I found out about your son because I am an alumni of CSULB and read a post on our school bulletin.I hope all of your family stays strong and my heart goes out to his gf, I know this must be very hard, but just know that he is watching over you and his family.God Bless and Jacob and family will be in my prayers.

— Beatriz
September 15, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.

how does this keep happening in cali
it seems like every year theres a train crash in cali
god bless you jake
iam sorry
how can you be in college take the train home from school and all of a sudden your not here anymore
i dont get this world anymore

— jason
September 15, 2008 at 11:37 a.m.

Jacob you and your family touched my life and my familys life tremendously. I will keep all of you in my prayers and I promise you I will keep a close eye on your parents and brothers. This isnt right you had so much more to share in life Chad hurts so much right now missing you! We will Forever Love & Miss You!Watch Over Us All!

— Stacey Horwood
September 15, 2008 at 12:01 p.m.

Jacob we love you very much. You made a difference in all our lives and you will truely be missed. We will continue to pray for your family and for Stephanie. We will keep you in our hearts forever.
All our love. Rest in peace.

— Perez Family
September 15, 2008 at 12:22 p.m.

Jacob you will truley live on in all of the family and friends that love you and treasure you and that is an amazing amount of people. Angie and Alan, Jared and Jordan our hearts cry with you rip with love Bobby Debbie Jeremiah Levi and Sharayah

— The Farrells in Seattle
September 15, 2008 at 12:27 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 12:58 p.m.

Dearest Stephanie Hefter Family and Gutierez Family,
Please know the sorrow in which we all share with you.We are shedding tears right along with you all.There really are no words that I can say to comfort you but for what it is worth it sounds as if Jacob was a remarkable young man.I only wish I could have met him.What a beautiful gift from God he was.
Our heartfelt prayers go out to you at this time and we pray that you will draw your strength from the Lord above who loves and cares for you deeply.
We are here for you and are grieving with you.

— Terry Scrivner & Family
September 15, 2008 at 1:23 p.m.

Jacob, as a student at the Beach, my heart goes out to you and your family. RIP buddy.

— csulb student
September 15, 2008 at 2:15 p.m.

I'm a mom of an 18 year old son who just started college. I cannot imagine how the family must be feeling now. I'm so sorry for your loss.

— Lynda S
September 15, 2008 at 2:50 p.m.

I am very sorry for your loss. I don't not personally know Jacob, but my deepest sympathy goes out to your family, friends, and others who knew you. It is a sad thing that I will have never gotten to know you.

— csulb student
September 15, 2008 at 2:51 p.m.

We are truly sorry for your loss. We are praying for your family with the loss of Jacob. I feel like words are not enough at this time to express our sympathy. If you need anything, please let us know. He will be missed greatly by all. May God bless you during this difficult time.

— Wiles Family
September 15, 2008 at 3:16 p.m.

I am very sorry for your loss. I didn't know Jacob but came to learn today that he was in one of my daughters' classes at Long Beach State.
She said they spoke all morning of Jacob.
I pray the Lord will bless you and ease your sorrows.
We all need to live life as if there is no tomorrow.

— A Mom
September 15, 2008 at 4:22 p.m.

rest in peace young man, your now at GOD's right hand, you served his will here now sit with HIM and smile at what you have accomplished in your too short of a time!

— kevin
September 15, 2008 at 4:34 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 5:18 p.m.

From one 49er to another, my family is deeply saddened of this unwarrated loss. RIP fellow CSULB'er

— Long Beach State alumni
September 15, 2008 at 5:48 p.m.

To the Hefter family and Stephanie,
I know this has got to be the hardest thing anyone can go through. Being one of Jordan's best friends, I am here for you always and forever and I'm so sorry for your loss of your little brother. Stay strong love because you know it's what Jake would want. Seeing you and your family brought tears to my eyes, all I want is to be a help for you. I'm just a phone call away. I love you Mrs. Hefter, you're such a strong woman and I keep you and your family in my prayers. Stephanie, my dear friend, cherish those memories, never let go and stay strong. Jacob will always be with you, he truely adored you.

R.I.P. Jacob Hefter, you will be missed

— Erika Nava
September 15, 2008 at 5:57 p.m.

i never did get to meet jake, but i've heard stories about how much of a wonderful person he was. i was looking forward to the future of meeting him. i was at my friends house when i heard the sirens of all the fire trucks ambulances and police cars. it broke my heart when i recieved a message from a friend of what had happened. i sat and cried a little at work. i cant imagine what family friends and his girlfriend are feeling if i feel so much pain.

RIP Jacob Hefter
you and your family will be in my prayers

— Crystal
September 15, 2008 at 6:14 p.m.

dear jacob, though i only new you for just a year you were always nice to me and funny. I remember that day when we had to do the triage final you were one of the patients my team had recieved. it was our first victim so of course we failed. But you told us not to worry so much. You were right after that we did not loose anyone else. Thank you for those kind words and you will never be forgotten.

— lizet
September 15, 2008 at 7:41 p.m.

May God guide the hefters through these hard times. Mrs. Hefter jacob and your family are in my prayers. Stay strong and god bless and help you. <3

— chavez
September 15, 2008 at 7:46 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to the Hefter family. Mrs Hefter means the world to me and she is like my mom I LOVE YOU MRS. HEFTER. We will miss you Jacob and there will always be a place in my heart for the Hefter Family

— Norma
September 15, 2008 at 8:24 p.m.

I am truly sorry for you loss. I know this is heartbreaking but I know you will get through this. Jacob rest in peace. You are still a Long Beach 49'er. I sad that i did not get to know you but I know you will be in a good place.

— CSULB Freshman Student
September 15, 2008 at 9:01 p.m.

Out of all the sorrow and pain you are all going through ,knowing that his last words were sent to his girlfriend whom he loved so much doesnt make it easier but left him with peace and hopefully leaves you with some peace.He is up in heaven and im am truly sorry for this tragic loss of someone so young and full of life.

— Lauren, 2005 graduate Palmdale Resident
September 15, 2008 at 11:28 p.m.

My condolences to your family and your girlfriend.... Rest In Peace!

— Reva Postrero
September 15, 2008 at 11:30 p.m.

No words can say what I actually want to say, you always had a smile n your face, And Mrs. Hefter one of the best people in my life i know. At least we know your safe up there with your little brother, John, and your grandma. You will always be in our hearts.

— Erica
September 16, 2008 at 12:06 a.m.

I am very truly sorry to hear about Jacob! He was a close friend of mine in high school and we were in the health careers academy together! He was definitely an amazing and beloved friend to me and to everyone that knew him, he was also very funny! I miss him so much! I wish the best of luck to him and his family! But I know that we all know that he's definitely in a much better place now and is no longer suffering! R.I.P. Jacob, we LOVE you! God Bless! You, your family and Stephanie will be in my prayers!:) R.I.P. Hun!!

Sincerely, Brenda

— Brenda
September 16, 2008 at 2:51 a.m.

I Don't know you but i had to research you to day because i saw your name on that list and I felt like I had to find you on the www I feel hurt for the people that love you. They cant help but to have your face in there hearts and mind, but Jacob your in a place now where you can enjoy and rest cause you spent 18 years doing the best Job Jacob can do in his life My prayer are to all the people that love you Bro!

— N-Dra
September 16, 2008 at 9:22 a.m.

To the Hefter family and friends of Jacob...

Jake sounds like the kind of guy you wish you knew. And I do wish that. It's so refreshing to see good kids being raised well, and it shows in people's comments. These things matter for those who are still here, it matters for the kind of example he was and the impression he made upon people. We cannot second guess with 'why's' because there is no answer for that in this world, at least none that will truly provide what we want.

But I do have some words that comforted me at a time that I really needed it, and it was a card that a friend had given to me. I had never heard it put this way...and it made me feel just a bit better and I have never forgotten it...
"Not Gone ... Just Gone On Ahead".

Take care and comfort each other and always show your love--because none of know when we will be called home.

— Kathy - Glendale
September 16, 2008 at 9:28 a.m.

I will always miss you my little jackie wakie. You were the little brother i never had and a smile that never ended. I know you will always be there watching over and still joking around. From your Jose... love ya kid.


— Julia Fuentes
September 16, 2008 at 12:45 p.m.

Stephanie, Gutierrez Family and Hefter Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. Jacob was a fine young man and will be missed. God Bless you all.

— Schade Family - Friends of Gutierrez & Rowe family
September 16, 2008 at 12:45 p.m.

Dearest Stephanie,My Brother Mike,Katie,Shane, Nick,Shaun and Jacobs Family, No words can take away the pain of losing a loved one. My heart has never felt this deep pain.Jacob left this world with a heart over flowing with love. Stephanie I wish I could take away your pain some how, it breaks my heart to see you so hurt.The Boys and I love you all so much.May God in time heal your pain our prayers are with you and Jacobs Family.

— Unlce Ron & Boys-Stephanies Godfather & cousins,
September 16, 2008 at 2:18 p.m.

To the Hefter family,

My sister is a neighbor to Jacob's dad, someone I have seen in passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God's promise is extended to us all and HE has a purpose. May GOD bless & keep you

With Sincere Sympathy

— Rema Pierre
September 16, 2008 at 3:09 p.m.

It will be the little things
that you will remember,
the quiet moments,
the smiles, the laughter.
And although it may seem
hard right now,
it will be the memories
of these little things
that help to push
away the pain
and bring the smiles
back again.

With Loving Memories

— Janelle Lupi
September 16, 2008 at 5:28 p.m.

Im sorry that this happened Jacob was a very nice guy.I wish i could be there.My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

— Robbin Damon (Picado)
September 16, 2008 at 5:40 p.m.

I'm so sorry your life was cut short. You were such a special person among so many other such special people that I have to believe you were meant for a better place. Thank you for all the gifts you brought to this world, and I pray for your family and friends in this time of incomprehensible suffering.

— Susan
September 16, 2008 at 5:51 p.m.

To the Hefter family,

On July 3rd of this year my wonderful friend lost her wonderful son, he was 17 years old and was killed by a train. When Stephanie's cousin, Lisa told me about Jacob, who I briefly met at a softball game, I could only cry, I couldn't imagine the pain you are feeling. Unfortunately, there are no words to truly comfort you and it seems your pain will be endless.
But through Jacob's passing I will remember EVERYDAY to hug my children & tell them that I love them! I will keep you in my prayers...

— H. Crowder
September 16, 2008 at 6:39 p.m.

I am very sorry for the loss. I am a current CSULB student and had known Jacob and his family for years. I attended Palmdale High School as well and was taught by his mom, Mrs. Hefter and was friends with his older brother, Jared.They are a great family. Jacob was also friends with my younger brother, who was shocked to hear about his passing.
My condolences and prayers go to the Hefter family and all of his friends. Jacob was a great friend and a tremendous student. He will be greatly missed.

— Ariana
September 16, 2008 at 7:03 p.m.

I'm very sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to the family.

— Mirna Gonzalez-AVH Blood Donor Center
September 16, 2008 at 7:16 p.m.

Steph, before Jacob left to school while he and I sat watching you play a softball game, I told him to promise me that he would never break your heart. He promised that he wouldn't. When you both left my house that last Saturday, I reminded him of his promise. He just smiled. I know how heart broken you are now, but if he could he would take your pain away. He wouldn't want to see you like this. He loved you Steph, we all saw it. We all know how much you loved him. It hurts us, your family, to see you in such great pain. If we could, we would make it better for all of you. My prayer is that you find comfort in the Lord, even though it is hard to understand why things like this happen and it is hard to understand why God takes the good & the young, just know God is there for you, as we all are. To the Hefter family, there is nothing I can say that would ease your pain at this time. I can only pray that you too find comfort in God, your family and friends. My heart broke for you as I sat with you and the Gutierrez family on Saturday holding on to all hope and waiting for some sort of word. I know that this is only the begining of your grieving process and I am so sorry you have to go thru this. My prayers and those of my family will be with you. Jacob was a great all around kid, he truly was a blessing! But you already know that. I can honestly say he was a joy to be around, a little quite, but always smiling. He touched alot of lives, and we will always remember him fondly.

Bobby, Lisa, Natalie & Rob Galloway
Stephanie's cousins

— Lisa Galloway your loving cousin
September 16, 2008 at 8:09 p.m.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family and Stephanie. Although we didn't know Jacob, we know what a great person he must have been. We have always heard the best things about him and know Steph wouldn't settle for anything but the best, and is deeply in love with him. You must have done a wonderful job raising him as it shows with all that love & miss him. He is now your guardian angel and will be with you forever. God bless you all.

— The Porter Family
September 16, 2008 at 8:27 p.m.

I never had the honor of meeting Jacob but I have seen him around campus. Always with a smile with his arms wrapped around Stephanie. I am sure that he is in heaven sending hugs to his family and friends now. My heart goes out to the Hefter family and Stephanie. You will always be remembered Jacob.

— Christina
September 16, 2008 at 8:59 p.m.

To the Hefter Family,
As parents of an 18 year old just starting college this hits far too close to home. We cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow you are feeling at this time. We pray that your hearts will know the love of those around you and that you may be comforted in the knowledge that Jacob is at peace in the Lord's arms. We are here for you should you need anything at all. Things like this shouldn't happen to wonderful people like you.
God Bless and keep you...

— The La Plante Family
September 16, 2008 at 9:13 p.m.

By the way that you care for your students I can only say that my deepest sympathy goes out to your family for the passing of your son.

John Henry Sr.
(John & Kyle)

— John Henry Sr.
September 16, 2008 at 9:28 p.m.

Jared and the Hefter Family,

It is hard to bring to words the thoughts and feelings I am having in the wake of such a horrible tragedy, I can hardly imagine the pain and heart-ache you must be feeling. You all have been like a family to me since I was a little boy and I know the sadness that comes from loosing such an amazing person like Jacob is not going to ever go away and shouldn't. I do know, however, that with a family like yours and the friends that are seemingly drawn to you, you will find a way to move forward. I am so sorry I will not be able to make my way to the services to show my respects and be there for you during these trying times, but just say the word and I will do whatever you need. Please remember to take time for yourselves and do what feels right to you, but never be afraid of a little help or a quiet ear and warm shoulder.
Jacob should be celebrated for having such a lasting and honest affect on so many people both young and old, few have the heart or ability to touch so many for no other reason than because they are simply a good person. Jacob spent 18 years making all of us proud now it is our responsibility to spend the time we have left making him proud.

— Matt G.
September 16, 2008 at 9:59 p.m.

Hefter Family, Gutierrez Family & My Steph

To the Hefter Family our deepest condolences go out to you at this time. I know nothing we say can erase your hurt, just know that Jacob is in the Lord's loving hands and he is safe. To the Gutierrez Family, Katie, Mike, Shane & Shawn we love you and are here for you. To My Steph, you are my heart. Just remember all the times you called to tell me something silly that you did and Jacob just laughed; remember how you kept trying to open a car with your remote (that was not your car) and Jacob laughed, and how you didn't get a joke (I didn't either), and Jacob would laugh, or the BIG test, how to hang up on a flip phone. My Sweet Love just remember his laugh and know that someday the hurt will ease and Jacob will want to to hear you laugh again.

We Love You With All Our Hearts,

"Your Nea Nea" and "Uncle" John.

— Walters Family
September 16, 2008 at 10:16 p.m.

I only knew you a short time Jacob, i knew Jordan better, but the few times you came in to your moms class i always saw her brighten up, you always made everyone laugh. It hurts so much that people i care about are being taken away, and knowing how your parents are feeling hurts worse. This is a freak accident that has irreplacable losses in it, and Hefters, im so sorry this had to happen to you.
Rest in Peace Jacob, nothing can hurt you now.

— Leah Gardner
September 16, 2008 at 10:32 p.m.

When my mother called me about what happened I was on my break at work. All i could do was sit and cry. I didn't know Jacob, but knew of him. I haven't seen Stephanie in years, and i really wanted to see her and meet Jacob. Stephanie I'm so sorry for this. I know we haven't seen each other in such a long time, but I want you to know i love you and if you need anything at all I'm just a call away. There hasn't been a day where i haven't thought of you, and what you must be going through. I know no words that will take the pain away. i can only offer my shoulder, and my prayers. i love you Steph.

— Reanna Gutierrez, Stephanie's cousin
September 16, 2008 at 10:37 p.m.

I never met Jacob, but i'm sure he was a great person. All I have to say is, Jacob died too yong! He never had the opportunity to start his own family, nor to do other great things in life. I'm sure he will be missed by his family and his friends. Jacob right now is resting in peace and is waiting to be resurrected. We shall all see him again one day, and may the Hefter family be blessed in these terrible moments.

— Manuel Marin- Palmdale
September 16, 2008 at 10:40 p.m.

I only meet you a few times Jacob while hanging out with your brother Jared, but those few times u were always so happy and a seemed like a really good person at heart. To Jacob's mother, you really helped me through school and wanted me to do well for myself. The Hefter family is an amazing group of people to know and have been friends with, my prayers go out to you all.

— Adrian
September 16, 2008 at 11:22 p.m.

Jacob had the gift of making people laugh, even with just an expression. He will be missed down here, but there are more smiles in heaven now.

— a friend
September 17, 2008 at 7:19 a.m.

I can't imagine the sorrow you are all suffering but if there is anything we can do, just call. Our prayers are with your family. You are a strong family and Angela if it wasn't for your help with Pamela through the years, she wouldn't have made it. Thank You. She loves you very much. Jacob was a great accomplishment and I can only imagine how proud of him you are. We are praying for you all.

— The Livingston/Hoyler Family
September 17, 2008 at 7:30 a.m.

I didn't know Jacob but being the mother of 2 PHS graduates I saw Ms. Hefter around campus from time to time, even remember seeing her around Palmdale Little League. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved Jacob, a life cut too short! You all are in my thoughts and prayers! May God give you strength in this unbelievably difficult time.

— Teri
September 17, 2008 at 7:39 a.m.

Dear Angela and family,

I was so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. Keep those memories close to your heart and know you are surrounded by lots and lots of caring people.
(I'm Carol Moe Fagan's sister)

— Pam Howell
September 17, 2008 at 7:41 a.m.

I am so sorry Angela, Alan , Jared and Jordan for your loss of Jacob. Jacob was a great kid -man. We are going to miss him deeply. The world was a better place because of him. He would have done great things. Your family have our thoughts and prayers.

— Dave White
September 17, 2008 at 7:45 a.m.

to the Hefter family

Our deepest condolences go out to you at this time. Your family is in our prayers.

The Rocha family

— Ralph Rocha
September 17, 2008 at 8:30 a.m.

Jacob may you rest in peace. Our family will continue to pray for you and your family.

— Sam
September 17, 2008 at 8:31 a.m.

As the mother of an 18-year old son about to go off to college this week, Jacob's tragic death touched my heart. Tears are streaming down my face thinking of your family's pain. There are no words of comfort that can be said to ease your sorrow. Keep faith and be strong that he was in your life for those 18 years.

— Mia
September 17, 2008 at 9:03 a.m.

Jacob, even though I never met you or new about you I new your mom and of your brother from my son Adrian. I know that you are with GOD and I can fairly say that we are jealous of you. Mrs. Hefter, I am so sorry for your loss, I know there are no words that I can say to make the pain go away. I can't and don't want to know how it feels to lose a son. It is said that the ones left behind are the ones who suffer the most. Jared has kept in touch with my son since they left school, which means that this affects my son in the way that they continue to be friends.

— Virgen Family
September 17, 2008 at 9:24 a.m.

I didn't know Jacob but i did go to the same school as him while i was a junior. im sorry for the Hefter family for losing someone very close to them, i know its hard to lose anyone you love i had that feeling before and i don't want that happening again anytime soon.Jacob is now resting in peace, even though its too soon but he is in a better place now and he is going to be watching over you in spirit.pray hard and he will be listening right next to God. Stay strong.

— Paul Sullivan
September 17, 2008 at 9:35 a.m.

There are no words that we can say to ease the pain. But we can laugh, and cry at the memories, and the new ones that we can only imagine now that John and Jacob are together in heaven. We have definitly lost two of the best!

— Wetzel/Mendez Family
September 17, 2008 at 9:47 a.m.

My deepest sympathy for the Hefter Family. I have never met the family nor Jacob, I just started working at Palmdale High two weeks ago but as a mother it hurts my heart the pain you are going through and can't imagine your sorrow. God give you strength during this trying time and comfort knowing your son was a great person and heaven has gained him for a reason. God be with your family.

— Mrs. Cacao, Palmdale High
September 17, 2008 at 9:51 a.m.

To all of the Hefter Family, friends, and everyone. The love and support for all of you is a beautiful gift. The time spent at Chatsworth High School was so difficult with all the waiting and not knowing. My heart goes out to Jacob, who was just too young to leave this world. I do know that he is with us in spirit, forever. Al,Angie,Jared,Jordan,Stephanie, know that if there is anything that I can do for you, I am always ready to help. I love you all so much. Peace be with you and God Bless you.

— Virginia Ramey & Uncle Brad Hefter
September 17, 2008 at 9:53 a.m.

I'm so sorry about your loss. my prayers goes to the Hefter family hope Jacob finds peace.

— Tasha
September 17, 2008 at 10:56 a.m.

May God comfort all who were amazingly touched by you Jacob!

My sincerest sympathy to the Hefter Family and Stephanie

— A parent of a friend - Dawna Lee
September 17, 2008 at 11:21 a.m.

I didnt know Jacob, but my daughter knew who he was because Mrs. Hefter is her teacher..... and she always talked to be about Mrs. Hefter.... I cant even start to imagine the pain you are going threw... I know Mrs. Hefter lost her mother not to long ago because my daughter shared that with me.... Im so truly sorry for your loss. I have kept up with all the articles In regards your son and he was an AMAZING young man.... Godbless you and your family and I know there is nothing I can say to make you and your family feel better Just know that We the SANDOVAL FAMILY will have you and everyone in your family in our prayers... My your son REST IN PEACE.... With Love... Mrs. Sandoval

— Mrs Sandoval * Aimee Sandovals Mom*`
September 17, 2008 at 11:44 a.m.

To the Hefters I did not know Jacob but knew Jared my son played Little League and High School baseball with him and had a chance to know you as parents many years ago. I've had 2 students graduate from PHS who knew Jared and Angela both great people as I am sure Jacob was. Losing a loved one is devistating as I have lost one recently but just knowing he is in a better place makes it easier. You will never understand why it happened but know that God has bigger plans for him. He is watching over you and you will see him again someday. My prayers are with you and your family.

— J Cable
September 17, 2008 at 11:53 a.m.

Dear Sweet Steph,

Oh sweetheart we are so so sorry, we know Jacob was the
love of your life. Our heart breaks for our sweet
beautiful cousin and your Mom and Dad and Jacobs family.
We just meet Jacob once but what a special young man!
Remember he drove Art to come and pick me up from work.
He waited patiently for me, didnt know me or Art but he
did it willingly. I know this was how he handled his life
with patience, volunteering and being kind hearted. Oh Steph I just wish you didnt have to feel such horrific pain. Just know we love you and were praying for you. We wish we could stop your heart ache.

Love your cousins,

Art, Lorraine & Arthur-Steven

— Lorraine, your loving cousin
September 17, 2008 at 1:36 p.m.

I did not get the chance to met Jacob but i do remember to always see him around the Palmdale High Campus,and iam so sorry for what happen. I can't even imagine how hard this is, but i just wanted to say that all my prayers go to the Hefter Family. Mrs. Hefter iam really sorry for the loss but just know that Jacob is now in a better place, and just now that everything just happens for a reason.Iam sure Jacob was an amazing person and he is now in heaven, resting in peace.My prayers are with you Mrs.Hefter, and all of the Hefter Family. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OF YOUR FAMILY. R.I.P. Jacob Hefter.
Sincerly, Anahi Perez, and Family.

— Anahi Perez, and Family
September 17, 2008 at 2:47 p.m.

My prayers go out to his family, his mom was my teacher when i was in high school, she spoke very highly of him and if he was as great as her i know he was a great person..RIP Jacob your in a better place.

— Alicia Long
September 17, 2008 at 3:12 p.m.

I got to spend a weak with him, the night before he left talked about twenty minutes with him. I didn't know him too well but in those twenty mins I said to myself "wow what a good kid!" seemed too good to be true? and thats why he took him away from us, "Im sorry" are not the right words, but "It was an honor" is. My prayers go out to his family and his brothers.

p.s. your always in our hearts jacob! you've taught all of us a valuable lesson.

— Vig (roomate & friend @ csulb)
September 17, 2008 at 4:47 p.m.


July 6, 1990 - September 12, 2008

— the lemos family
September 17, 2008 at 5:22 p.m.

my prayers go out to the hefter family and know that god is with u all the way. rip jacob

— Tiffany McWright
September 17, 2008 at 8:03 p.m.

I didn't know Jacob, but everything I hear about him sounds like he was a awsome young man to know. My prayers are with the Hefter Family and Stephaine. Jacob is in heaven now and one day you will all be together. For now he will be in your hearts always and forever.
God Bless you all.

— A Friend of the Gutierrez Family
September 17, 2008 at 8:51 p.m.

im so sorry this happened,and bless him and family.

— saleemah thorne
September 18, 2008 at 8:28 a.m.

To The Gutierrez & Hefter Family,
Although I did not know Jacob, I was so saddened to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this most difficult time. I pray that God will give you strength and peace as you lift your broken hearts up to Him.

— Norma Kirk (Nea-Nea's mom)
September 18, 2008 at 12:27 p.m.

I was so saddened to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this most difficult time. I pray that God will give you strength and peace as you lift your broken hearts up to Him. but to his family and friends keep your head up and stay strong.
youll always be on our hearts jacob we know you be looking down on us alwyas and foorever jorge lias

— jorge lias
September 18, 2008 at 1:40 p.m.

There are no words in any language to describe what we are going through. I can say I rember seeing Jacob every dsay walk in the 6/7 th PM ROP class. Every time Mrs. Hefter will tell u stheri vacation stories he was always making us laugh since his mom wouldnt say the "true" part of the story. He was always making us laugh...and wow was he he the sighs of many of the girls in my class! lol
I know he is resting in peace. Jacob is a great guy he has doen so much for this community he will always be in our heart. Mrs. Hefter, you brought up a wonderful child than became an extrodinary young man. Remember that God is our fortress, and though we may not understand ( i know its so cliche) but in time itll get better and we will understand god's mysteries. I love you Hefter family and you have great support from me in my prayers as well as all class of 2008, Stephanie i never really knew you but stay strong, your scik of ppl telling the same over and over and i cant truly feel teh same pain as you are but like i said im praying so God can give you the strenght.
love always,
Dayda M. Briseno and Family

Jacob please make sure Johny is behaving good
and his not giving God any trouble.Also keep watch
over the rest of us...
Love you both and I will miss you!
Class of 2008 ROCKS! PHS Falcons always
Flying High
For You Jacob and Johny Boy!

— Dayda M. Briseno.....always class of 2008
September 18, 2008 at 3:53 p.m.

I wasn't all that close to Jacob but I knew who he was and we talked a couple of times. I am a former student of Mrs. Hefter's and still in the academy. Mrs. Hefter treats every single student of hers like her own children. She comforts us when we need her or be there to get us on the right track. She taught us so much not only about medical things but how to be a good person. I know there will never be anything I can say to make the pain go away. I just want you to know Mrs. Hefter that you are a wonderful person. The whole Hefter family is. They are all amazing people who are so invlolved with everything. Losing Jacob was like losing a brother. I think I speak for all the academy students when I say this. Mrs. Hefter is like our second mom. It hurts so bad to see her going through such a hard time. Just know that if you need anything the academy is always here for you. May Jacob Hefter Rest In Peace.

— Danielle Simon
September 18, 2008 at 3:53 p.m.

Jacob was always smiling. i never saw him mad. I met him last year for ROP. He was one of the teacher assistants. He was always so nice to others. I remember that great simile he had and will always have. My prayers go out to his parents, brothers, steph, other close family and friends. May the Lord be with you all. I will keep you in my prayers. Mrs.Hefter be strong you had such a great son you and should be honored to have raised a son so nice. Sometimes we don't understand why things happen but God does. Stay strong and Jacob will always be you and he will never be forgotten.

— Evelyn Lopez-moms student
September 18, 2008 at 3:55 p.m.

Although words are not enough to console you at this time with such a tragic loss, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

— Pandelis Chryssostomides
September 18, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.

All this happened to quick for anybody to understand. Why you had to leave this earth at such a yound age. & nobody will ever be ablke to give us an acceptable reason. You were such a great guy i hope you in a better place & that you didnt suffer.

We shall take care of the people you held close to your heart. & be each others strength to get through the hard times

& plz watch over us

— Kimberly
September 18, 2008 at 4:51 p.m.

Im so sorry for you lost Alan & Angela. My prayers are with you and your family. God bless

— Gil
September 18, 2008 at 10:16 p.m.

i know exactly how you feel, my father had passed in that accident, i will pray for him and the whole family. HUGS

— Mey Chao
September 19, 2008 at 9:31 a.m.

To the Hefter Family: I am so deeply sorry for your loss. There are no words to express my sympathy. please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

— Joyce Mac
September 19, 2008 at 11:11 a.m.

My heart goes out to the Hefter family and Stephanie. I cannot begin to feel the loss you feel, I'm deeply sorry. I did not know Jacob, my daughter is a student at PHS, Knowing everything I've heard about Jacob he is a wonderful young man. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him, but remembered. May you find some comfort with all the loved ones around you. Rest in Peace.

— Pruitt Family of Palmdale
September 19, 2008 at 11:20 a.m.

Angela and Family;

words do not exist to express the pain and sorrow I feel for your family. As we age, death becomes a reality in our lives, but to bury an 18 year old son is unimaginable. Jacob clearly made the world a better place. I pray that God will continue to provide you with strength and support.

Raymond Hart
Knight High School

— Raymond Hart, Counselor, AVHSD
September 19, 2008 at 11:23 a.m.

Dear Stephanie & Hefter Family

It sadden me to have heard of this tragic event. My mom and I cried when we saw the news that following Sunday night. From what I have seen of Jacob he was the most nicest person I have ever meet. He always seem ed to be the most laid back and come as it goes type of person.I may not have known him on the deepest of levels as most people,but what I had been able to see was a bright and amazing young man. Stephanie know that although he may not be here in body he will always be here in spirit, cherish those moments and know that he will always look after you. Mrs. Hefter just know that you are an amazing person who have gotten to meet with in the time I had attended Palmdale High. I will always be here for you and your family, my mom just truly adores your family especially with all of the help you have given me. Jacob seemed like the most kindest person anyone could know.
Rest In Peace

— Marzel Hughes
September 19, 2008 at 12:17 p.m.

The service today was beautiful. Jordan and Jared did a wonderful job and I know you must be proud of them. It has been made very clear how many lives your entire family have touched. Jacob was loved and I know he knew it. We cannot imagine your heartbreak and since of loss. May God guide you during these most unimaginable times. My most favorite photo is a group photo of our two familys camping at Buena Vista. Jacob about age 3 and Katie about age 5 both sitting and smiling on Alan's lap. A treasure I will keep always. Hugs, Kisses and lots of love from our family to yours.

— McGaughey Family
September 19, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.

im seriously going to miss you so much jacob everytime i hear the name jose i always think about you and smile and laugh and remember all the good times you will forever be in my heart because you were the greatest kindest and smartest person i knew and you always knew how to make me happy and i love the hefter family and will always be by there side because i know they would do the same and to stephanie be strong because love is forever

— michelle gomez
September 19, 2008 at 7:41 p.m.

Being an EMT makes it hard knowing you couldn't save someone you know and care about. I know from now on every call I run, every life I save Jacob will be there with me. My love, thoughts, and prayers are with the family and Jacob's girlfriend.

— Diana Dolphin
September 19, 2008 at 10:32 p.m.

I have been following up on the train disaster and I am very sad to hear that a fellow LB 49er student was on the train. I have also lost someone close to my heart. It is hard, but I also have live in the Palmdale area and I did use to use the metrolink to travel from Palmdale to the Long Beach area also. I work in the Long Beach area now and I give my prayers to the family. God Bless JACOB family and I will keep them in prayer.

— Chris
September 20, 2008 at 12:32 a.m.

I did not know Jacob Hefter. I am a professor of geography at CSULB, and was horrified to learn that one of our freshmen was among the dead. He sounds like the kind of student professors dream of having in class. As fate would have it, I was on Chatsworth St. stopped by the guard arms as the train accelerated out of the station. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

— Christine M. Rodrigue
September 20, 2008 at 3:45 p.m.

Wow this all came to a shock. He was loved so much.
R.i.P Jacob

— Kimberly and Marisa
September 20, 2008 at 6:15 p.m.

So young, so unfair.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Jacob, a man who loved and was loved by many.
When I worked in a hospital I learned that you can take a 1000 poets, scientists and preachers, have them all talk amongst themselves and still none would be able to tell us the secret to the mystery of life.
I guess only God knows that.

— Johnna
September 21, 2008 at 3:27 a.m.

I did not know Jacob personally, but I always saw him around school during the past four years. He always had a smile on his face. He seemed like great guy to be around and have fun with. I am currently attending California Lutheran University. I had to hear the sad news from my mom when she called me. I just kept saying "Oh my god" over and over. To know that I won't see him at any high school reunions breaks my heart. But I can only imagine what his family and girlfriend are going through. My heart goes out to them and I am very sorry for what happened. R.I.P. Jacob

— Jennifer Rapp PHS graduate of 2008
September 21, 2008 at 9:09 a.m.

May God give the Hefter family strength! I really didnt have the honor to meet Jacob, even though I attended the same high school. But I know how it feels to lose someone you love....although I attended PHS I also didn't have the chance to have Mrs. Hefter either...but i could say she was very popular..and know Im out here at LA High...so i still won't have the honor..but may God Bless You and your family...and now all we know is that Jacob is in a better place than us....up there with God...now who knows if he'll want to return...!...Im really sorry for the lose of Jacob!!!

— Yurika Reynoso
September 22, 2008 at 8:21 a.m.

I am so sorry for your lose.

— a friend
September 22, 2008 at 6:32 p.m.

May god bless you always

— a friend, Long Beach, CA
September 22, 2008 at 8:06 p.m.

may God be with you in this terrible time im sure he will never be forgotten. u will always be in my prayers. i will never forget him or that terrible day.never forget him he will always be there no matter where u go. sorry of the terrible lose and for those terrible memorys of that terrible day. God bless your family and frinds and all the other familys who is involved in this terrible crash. like mine is and always will be.

— a friend
September 22, 2008 at 10:56 p.m.

jacob, i have so much to thank you for.. the day i became your friend, was the day high school started to become enjoyable. i was miserable before i met you but you taught me how easy it was to make friends. at one point we were close and you were my best friend. im gonna miss you so much. you are probably the nicest guy i have ever met. i love you.

— close friend
September 23, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.

Even though i didnt quite know him that well, i still know who he was. This accident affected everyone. including myself. May Jacob rest in peace. He was a great guy to everyone. Jacob has forever left great memories in our hearts.

— Melina Perez
September 23, 2008 at 12:10 p.m.

May God bless the Hefter family, as well as Jacob's friends and loved ones through this time. I pray that you all may have the courage and strength to guide you. I didn't know Jacob, but I knew some of his family enough to know that he was and IS an amazing individual. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

— Roxanne Cabang
September 23, 2008 at 9:13 p.m.

i send my dearest apologies and prayers to the Hefter family..at times life may seem unfair and take the person who had a good future ahead of them. Jacob I consider him a great friend and a role model of mine. He followed his dreams and graduated at the top of his class and had an amazing time in high school also made life long friends. He was taken away from us in an instant and all of us share the same pain of losing a beloved friend. When i heard what had happened I didn't want to belive it. The thought of losing such a great friend...was something I had never felt before in my heart. I love Jacob Hefter from the bottom of my heart and i miss and cherish every moment we ever had together. I realized today I looked up to the sky and didn't realize how amazing it was until I noticed you were up there.

— Jacky Torres
September 24, 2008 at 9:43 a.m.


September 24, 2008 at 12:32 p.m.

We cannot understand the hole that is in your hearts right now. I wish we could have known Jacob. From all we have heard about him he was a wonderful person. It is an amazing thought that he is with Jesus right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Angela and Alan, and your family.

— Randy & Kelli Lintemoot
September 24, 2008 at 4:25 p.m.


— Trena Smith
September 24, 2008 at 4:25 p.m.

The Hefner family are Falcons to the core and when one of our own hurts all us Falcons hurt. We will survive this as we do every hardship that comes our way. Does not make it any easier but remember once a Falcon always a Falcon. There are lots of shoulder to lean on. Let us be there for you as you have been for us. GOD BLESS YOU FOR THE COMMITMENT YOU HAVE MADE TO ALL FALCONS PAST AND FUTURE

— Terri
September 24, 2008 at 8:41 p.m.

I did not know Jacob personally, but my two sons attended Palmdale High School years ago. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and his girlfriend. Jacob sounded like a wonderful human being, and I'm sure his spirit will be with you all, helping you through these hard times.

God Bless You All
The Holdridge Family

— Randy Sue,Garrett and Austin Holdridge
September 25, 2008 at 8:10 a.m.

I never really knew Jacob personally but from the times I did talk to him, he was very intelligent person and a fierce competitor. It deeply sadens me to hear the news and to know I will never get a chance to compete against him again. May he rest in peace. My prayers are with the family. On behalf of the CPR/First Aid teams at Ygnacio Valley High, thanks for run bro, rest in peace

— Enrico Aguilar, HOSA alumni
September 25, 2008 at 10:28 p.m.

I didn't really know Jacob but from wat i heart bout him he was a really nice and smart person. he seems very intelligent. I know that all of his friends and family miss him dearly . To his family i am so sorry for your loss! i know it sucks to loose some one you love...
We all LOVE and MISS you jacob!!!
You may be gone but your never going to be forgotten!!!!

— Karina
September 26, 2008 at 12:40 p.m.

Jacob, I'm so sad that you're gone. I pray for your family everyday and hope that, somehow, they'll make it through this. Your mom was the greatest teacher I've ever had--she taught me so many things. Your family and friends will never stop loving you and missing you. Knowing that you and Johoney will be watching over us together makes me want to work even harder to achieve all my dreams. Rest in paradise Jacob, say hi to Johoney for me.

— Andria Rothenberg, former ROP student
September 26, 2008 at 1:16 p.m.

My family and I are deeply saddened. Times like these there are no right words to say, nor express.
May God be with you and your family to give strength and support throughout these hard times of healing.

God Bless today and all the days ahead.

— MartialArtsDivision.com (JMarietta)
September 26, 2008 at 3:26 p.m.

Hefter family,

I am so deeply sorry for the loss of our Jacob...I honestly thought i was going to be you daughter in law...well thats what i was hoping for....i wish i had words to tell you how i am feeling and words to help you...but im not even sure what is happening yet....my heart does not want to believe this...it has been two weeks and one day and i am still on shock....i keep saying i cant handle this but i know if Jacob was here with me he wouldbe telling me well babe you are doing it and tell me i can...so i think when ever you feel like you cant do something just think of Jacob...bcause let me tell you he would be telling you YES you can....i have so many memories of my Jacob and feel blessed to have so many....Mr. and Mrs. Hefter i hope one day to tell you as much as i can and i want you to tell me as much as you can too....see i know a lot but we figured we had the rest of ourlives to tell eachother things....i just want to know more i guess....Jacob will always be my one and only i promised him that and i will not break that promise i will love him forever and i will forever miss him....Jared and Jordan...i love you guys too thank you for everything and being there for me when i needed it the most....agian i wish i could make this go away trust me if there was anything i could do...i would....we shall talk later when things settle down......thank you for all that you guys have done for me the past two years i love you guys and always will...

Jacob....hi babe you will be mine forever and ever i promise i love and miss you sooooo much......i'll never forget out big house and big dog and our sydnie ann....and babe what are you thinking? well i love you too

— Stephanie
September 27, 2008 at 10:21 p.m.

I just read Stephanie's posting and I've started to cry. I never met your jacob but my heart aches as I read all the postings on this website. I cannot imagine what you are feeling. But I hope you find the strenght to overcome this loss. And I know your jacob will always watch over you!! he's your angel now.

— grace hernandez- Oxnard
September 28, 2008 at 8:26 p.m.

Jacob, find your way into your new adventure. You've left many that Love you here. Be proud. You will always hold strong memories with your family and beloved Stephanie. May you find peace in the heavens above.

— Jorge
September 30, 2008 at 8:53 p.m.

Though we all may have lost someone who is a big part of our lives and our hearts and we are not able to replace or fill that emptyness that our love ones have taken with them when they left this world. but i hope that maybe we all can come together and allow each other to come into each others lives since i know that we all share the same pain. when my father passed in that metrolink 2008 crash my life has not been the same and its been very difficult, my father left behind his wife and 5 children and so many grand children, and we all miss and love him so much but talkin about him with my family and remembering all the good times we had with him helps us with our pain of losing him. so i just would like to let you all know i am here if you need to talk or just someone to listen to you. my email is


my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 9:48 a.m.

My condolences to the Hefter family and all the family that lost thier love ones on that fatal train crash. I am all the way here in Japan and I had just learned about this horrible news. Even though this happened 3 weeks ago, I had a sudden sadness I felt in my heart specially after reading Jacob's girlfriend's comment. I just want to let you all know that even though I am all the way right here in Japan, I will pray for all of you. I am from Los Angeles too and used to take trains to go to work and back home. May God bless all the family that lost thier loved ones back home. And may God give you strength to go through this tough times.


October 1, 2008 at 9:16 p.m.

I am sooo heartbroken...There are no words to say to make any of this better or to make any of the pain go away (I wish that there was). Al & Angela keep your heads held high, for you both have done such a great job raising your wonderful son (3 of them for that matter). From the very first time Stephanie brought Jacob home we loved him, we were so happy that they had found each other...they just seemed to click from the get go & were always so happy when they were together. Even though they were only 16 years old when they fell in love, it was sooo real & we all knew it. I knew a long time ago that the Hefter family was going to be a part of our family forever (and thats not going to change), because Jacob & Stephanie had their plans already laid out for THEIR FUTURE. They are so LUCKY to have had that deep love that they had for each other & I'm so gald that I was able to have seen it everytime I saw them together.Jared & Jordan, your little brother looked up to both of you...find comfort in knowing you were loved & respected by him & that you both did a great job being a big brother. I so wish that I could turn back time & change everything, but we all know that no one can do that. GOD has plans & we all have to find comfort in knowing that one day we will all be together again & then we will find out HIS plan...So Al, Angela, Jared & Jordan I send you all a BIG hug & lots of love & please know that the Gutierrez family is ALWAYS here for you, and to my beautiful loving daughter Stephanie know how much your family loves you & supports you and that if there was any way we could change any of this & mend your broken heart we would.Jacob is with all of you always & he always will be. We all miss him so very much...All my love to the Hefter family. Stephanie, mom is ALWAYS, ALWAYS here for you, I love you so much baby....

— Katie Gutierrez
October 2, 2008 at 11:29 a.m.

I am a regular rider of Metrolink 111. Jacob (I never got his name until now) was sitting across from me when we left Union Station. I got off the train in Burbank, a few stops before, so I was not involved in the crash.
He seemed like a really nice kid. He borrowed a phone from my friend I was sitting with to text his girlfriend in Moorpark, saying he was on his way. He had asked me first but my phone wasn't charged.
My train buddies all remembered this nice kid sitting next to us that day and had hoped and prayed he would be safe. One recalls saying to him as she got off in Chatsworth "Better stay awake. You'll be home soon."
I am sad to hear that he did not make it. I pray his family is comforted during this difficult time.
Matt - rear of first car, Metrolink 111.

— Matt
October 2, 2008 at 1:26 p.m.

Stephaine, The Gutirrez Family & The Hefter Family -

There is not a day that I do not think and pray for you guys....I wish there were words or something we could do to make this easier....Stehpaine, I know it must be so very hard for you...you two were best friends and in love.. I can only say take one day at a time and remember you have an angel watching over you ..
Mike, Katie & The Hefter Family - I am so very sorry for your loss and the pain you must be feeling ..you have so many people praying for you ... and I am one of them..we well always be here for you.....

— melissa & karissa :)
October 3, 2008 at 10:45 a.m.

To the Hefter & Guitierez family,
I didn't know Jacob personally, but I feel like I did know him from what my daughter & son in law (Lisa & Mitch) have told me about Jacob & Stephanie.
There are no words to express my deep sorrow for all of you. Jacob is in a good place with his maker now, it's all of you that my tears are for.
Please stay strong & know that you are all in my thoughts & in my prayers.
June, Lancaster, Pa.

— June Authier
October 3, 2008 at 11:03 a.m.

We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. We did not know Jacob, but our son Christopher may have, as he rode the train and was also killed that day. Our hearts and prayers go out to your family as you deal with this tragedy. May all those wonderful memories of such a great young man sustain you through this most difficult time.

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 1:52 p.m.

I am one of the many prayer warriors that prayed for Jacob after the tragedy of the train accident. God bless your soul Jacob and may you be at peace now and forever more. My heart goes out to your family and friends, may God be with you now and always. Please stay strong in faith and never let it waiver. May He help to ease the pain & emptiness in your hearts that you now have. Remember the good times and may God bless each of you.

— Cindy in GA
October 5, 2008 at 5:41 p.m.

It has been 1 month since we lost Jacob. Have things gone back to normal yet?

— I Knew Jacob
October 11, 2008 at 8:08 p.m.

To the Hefter & The Guitierez family & Stephaine
I knew Jacob and he was a good kid I am very sorry for your loss theres not a day gone by that I still think about jacob When I found out I was in such a shock it was like everything in my body just fell and stephaine I do not know you but I understand what your going through its hard to lose someone that you love so dearly just remember that he is always with you no matter what happens. I remember this one day when my mom and dad were doing something for baseball and we stayed over his house and it was me and my sister and my 2 brothers and we all played a baseball game and when it was jacobs turn he was so happy that when he was walking over to get the bat he triped and fell everyone was laughing so hard. We love you so much jacob rest in peace and my prayers are with you Love always shyshy

— Shyanne Smith in Palmdale high school
October 11, 2008 at 9:30 p.m.

To the Hefter family and Stephanie
I knew Jacob, but not that well, and i wish i could have known him better. It broke my heart when I found out what happend because every time i was with him he made it really fun.
I am praying for you guys every day and i am sorry for your loss. All of you including Jacob will be in my heart forever.

— Cameron- Stephanie's cousin
October 13, 2008 at 6 p.m.

i only seen jacob around school.. but my prayers are with the hefter family. i truly understand what they are going through...
R.I.P jacob hefter
u will be missed

— jessica roybal
October 17, 2008 at 5:25 p.m.

even to this day jacob is still in our hearts and he well always be..we miss him alot..my prayers go to him and his family..jacob well never be for gotten..he well always be in our memories!!

u will be missed..

— maggie estrada
October 23, 2008 at 1:28 p.m.

Let's not forget Jared and Jordan they need all the support and love we can give them. I know it can't be easy on them right now. I can't imagine the pain they are feeling let's make sure they feel it is okay to go on with there life and plans they had for the future. I think that Jacob would have wanted it that way. It does not mean they are not going to be sad but let's honor him and make him proud. Jared and Jordan need you more then ever.

— just an outsider looking in
November 15, 2008 at 1:15 p.m.

My prayers are still being said for the Hefter family and Stephanie. May God continue to comfort all of you during this holiday season without your son, brother and boyfriend. I did not know Jacob personally, (but my daughter knew him & Stephanie) but the tears won't stop whenever I think about this tragedy and the loss his family and girlfriend are left to deal with. My heart goes out to all of you that did know him for I know your tears must be a million more than mine. I just wanted all of you to know that none of you have been forgotten in prayers and that Jacob will not be forgotten ever by many. (Even by those who did not personally know him like myself) I look forward to the day that I can see your reunion with him in the heavens!
Dawna Lee (A PHS parent)

— Dawna Lee
November 16, 2008 at 8:22 p.m.

My heart goes out to ALL of the Hefter family, losing a child & a brother has to be the worst, but my heart really goes out to Stephanie, she lost her boyfriend, her best friend, her rock, her comfort, her future, her everything, because Jacob was her life, she is so in love with him as he was with her, they had so many plans for their life they were going to live together forever & now she has nothing. We all miss Jacob so much, but I'm sure his family & Stephanie miss him more than any of us will ever know, their lives will NEVER be the same again.

— another outsider looking in
November 18, 2008 at 11:20 a.m.

To the Hefter family and Stephanie.
i still to this day can not accept the truth to this tragedy. stephanie i give you the most props ever for being able to keep looking forward. myself, having a boyfriend of over 2 years, would not know what to do if something this horrible would hit my life. it is horrible that anyone would have to live such a short life, but atleast we know jacob was able to fall in love, and know the feeling of always having someone. one of the most important things in life. Jacob blessed and was envied by many, and will forever be. my love and respect goes out to both the Hefter and Guitierez families. may god keep you all strong. and keep all your heads high, so jacob may see his beautiful family and loved ones faces.

— Allyson
November 20, 2008 at 8:57 p.m.

All I know is that Jared and Jordan are the brothers left behind to try to keep this family together!!! Let's make sure that we support them in what ever they do.! Angela you have raised wonderful sons I only hope I can say that someday about my boys. Love them and support them, no matter what they do in there life. Just as a MOM!!!!! I don't have the answers, wish I did. I wish you happines and peace someday. I hate the phrase he's in a better place what about the ones he left behind, he had a wonderful future!! Don"t forget the sons that are here by your side? They need you right now

— just a friend
November 29, 2008 at 5:37 p.m.

We are so sorry
Our prayers go out to the hefter family
you be miss by many and never forgotten


December 7, 2008 at 8:16 p.m.

Stay strong Jordie, Angie, Al, Steph, and Jared. I love all of you guys and theres not a day that goes by that i dont think about you all.

— Matty(Your cuz)
December 8, 2008 at 9:59 p.m.

It will be 3 months tomorrow that the world lost a wonderful person & it still hurts as much today as it did on that awfull day that Jacob was torn from all of our lives. His family & Stephanie are suffering so badly. Its just so unfair that this young promising young man is gone forever. I just hope that some day, we all will get the answer as to why he was taken from us, when he had so much to offer? All I can say to the Hefter family & to Stephanie is to take one day at a time & know that Jacob is watching over each and every one of you, & that he would hate to see all of you so sad all of the time. May God bless all of you.

— Someone who cares
December 11, 2008 at 11:34 a.m.

i didnt know you or your family or your girlfriendd but as i can see you were an amzing person ,to his family and loved ones just rember he is in GODs hands i know right now you dont understand why God would take him so fast with out warning no chance to say goodbye no chance to rember all the good times but GOD knows what he is doin he need him more then we did and his purpose is so much greater then ours, for he know all GOD only puts us through things he knows we can pull through just rember HOLD on to GOD in these times of pain and sorrow...

-a person who cares
my deepest prayers go out to you

— an outsider looking in
January 28, 2009 at 12:27 p.m.

5 months ago today, so many lives were forever changed. Jacob is missed by soooo many people, he was loved very much & his passing HURTS so badly. The Hefter family & Stephanie are left, hurting & missing him so much, but I want to say to them all, feel blessed to have had such a wonderful person in their lives to have loved & to have been loved back by him. Know that even though he is not here with you, that he is ALWAYS with you and he is ALWAYS watching over you all!

— missisng Jacob
February 12, 2009 at 3:15 p.m.

six months and four days ago....jacob was taken away....i miss him soooo much...always and forever in my heart babe i miss you.....much love for mr. and mrs. hefter and jared and jordy...and of course jacob i love you babe and always will

— Steph
March 16, 2009 at 6:59 p.m.

Well jake .... i really really miss you man

you were my best friend and the one person i trusted. i miss telling you my events of the day and how much i messed things up to hear you say dog its ok lets just get in a session of guitar hero and hit up the ping pong and then we will talk. I miss you so much its crazy. cracking jokes. playing guitar hero. taco bell. singing our favorite songs together. you always supported me and had my back through everything. you were a really great friend and you taught me many things about myself and life. My kids will never see or chill with the great uncle jake. it makes me sad. i think about you almost everyday that goes by. i want to play my guitar and ask ya what ya think. ask you for advice on relationships and hang out. play some ping pong. what happened to the beach trip we were going to have every year .... its not possible anymore .....

jake .... thank you for everything you did and for being such a great person.

you once told me that it was never good bye .... it was always i will see you later. i hope its true.

you impacted my life in so many different ways and i will forever be greatful. look after everyone man. we have a new star in the sky ... and not just a regular star but a rock star !!!! ya

i sure miss beating ya at guitar hero....

thanks for the memories i know have to tell my kids or anyone willing to sit and listen to our crazy ideas.

I love you man and say hi to john john for me

and sorry john for everything

hope we can all sitdown again at one giant table and play slap the egyptian one last time !!! and then talk about the bills haha

love ya and stay strong everyone

cuz its what jake always pushed for.....

strength and happiness

hang in there

we will all see him again someday!

stay strong steph and the hefters

you know i always got your backs

jake would do anything for me and i shall do the same for you

god bless you all


— Michael Barrientos
March 28, 2009 at 3:36 a.m.

sorry about what happen to you your in gods hands rIght now R.I.P

— reyes
April 7, 2009 at 8:58 a.m.

I'm SO sorry :(

— Eric
April 9, 2009 at 8:05 p.m.

Coach is right, Jacob was one of the nicest guys around. Everyone who got to meet him knew what a great a sweet guy he truly was. It's still hard to believe that a great young man with some much promise isn't here anymore. But God wanted him for a greater purpose and he is well and safe there. Someday we'll all get to see him again. We miss you so much everyday buddy. Until then, Jacob~

— A friend
April 25, 2009 at 11:31 p.m.

Jacob Hefter was and I believe is a wonderful individual. There is no understanding something like this this side of heaven. The thought occurs to me that God wanted a really good one back. He had a wonderful warm presence that was charming and calming. He lit up the office when he was there. He was the love focus of the family and very unassuming.

— Fred Harkins
May 30, 2009 at 9:54 a.m.

9 months today and it feels as bad today as it did on 9/12. Everyone is so sad & everyone misses Jacob so so much. It is still so very hard to believe that this has happened and that he really is gone from our lives. Until we meet again, Jacob know how much you are missed & loved by so many.

— Missing Jacob
June 12, 2009 at 8:30 a.m.

Jacob...i miss you sooo very much. Your smile always brightens my day.. There isnt a day goes by that i dont think about you and what an incredible family you have. i know thjings didnt turn out like we all wanted then to but, i want you to know that i love you and i know your watching over all of us each and everyday. i love you and i miss you dearly

— Krystal Basile
August 29, 2009 at 1:55 p.m.

Prayers go out to the Hefter family <3

— Raisa Rivera
September 11, 2009 at 9:49 p.m.

we will mis u

— friend
January 25, 2010 at 2:21 p.m.

i dont no u but i hope ur fam will recover from ur loss and i bet theyll love u forevr plus they no ur in abetter place i hope all ur friends and grlfrend r good to and they all know ur watching ovr them

— outsider
August 26, 2010 at 1:25 p.m.

i still miss you everyday. i hope your in a much better place.

— friend
May 16, 2011 at 12:56 a.m.

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Keep in mind
  • The Times initially mispelled the name of Michael Hammersley and Beverly Mosley.
  • The coroner's office reported a 26th victim the afternoon of Sept. 15, but a few hours later said the tally was 25.

Chatsworth Metrolink Crash is the Los Angeles Times' database of fatalities from the Sept. 12, 2008, train collision.

Latest Numbers

25 dead

135 injured

About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.