On a cloudy Wednesday afternoon, hundreds filled the pews and aisles of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church to remember and pay their respects to 18-year-old Santa Barbara native Adrianna Bachan. Many who knew her – and even more who did not – gathered for Bachan’s memorial service at the church where she received her First Communion 10 years ago.
Bachan was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver at 3 a.m. on March 29, walking back to USC’s campus with 19-year-old freshman Marcus Garfinkle. The suspected driver – Carmen Cabrera, 31, who reportedly killed Bachan, hit Garfinkle, and left the scene – was taken into custody last Thursday.
Father Maurice O’Mahony began the service by recalling standing at the same altar and giving Bachan her first communion. Friends of Bachan held and comforted one another as Richard Ross, a family friend whom Bachan called her very own “personal physician,” spoke words of remembrance in his eulogy. “Her heart was huge, and her spirit was bigger,” said Ross. Looking back on Bachan’s tenacity on the soccer field, Ross called her a “fireball” who “burned brightly, but briefly.”
A choked-up Alexandra Bachan, Adrianna Bachan’s sister, stated in her own eulogy that she had no words to describe her feelings, but would “miss the look in [Adrianna’s] big brown eyes.” “She was my best friend, but she was also a best friend for so many others,” said Bachan’s sister, thanking Adrianna’s closest friends for “sharing wonderful memories and bringing [her sister] happiness”.
Alexandra Bachan commended their mother, Carmen, for “being a rock” throughout this tragedy and stated that their father, Jim, was too distraught to be there, but was thankful for those who came. “Adrianna lived for my dad and my dad lived for Adrianna. There was not a day that went by when they did not talk to one another. He is truly broken.”
John Welch spoke on behalf of Bachan’s parents and family, thanking the community for their love, support, and outreach. Welch also thanked the detectives on behalf of Bachan’s mother, and hoped that the person responsible for Bachan’s murder would be “caught and brought to justice.”
Donations for the Adrianna Bachan Memorial Fund can be made c/o West End Partners, 1482 East Valley Road, Suite 245, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.