Bay Point teen gave his life to save friend

BAY POINT (BCN) — Harley Crawford would have given his friends the clothes off his back, but he ended up giving up something much greater. His life.

He was stopping to pick up a friend in Bay Point on July 5 just before 11 p.m. when a car drove up from behind and shot him in the head, Crawford’s father, Jerry Crawford said.

“They were chasing one of his friends and (Harley) told him to lay in the back seat,” Crawford said. “He saved his friend’s life.”

He may have also saved several other lives, Crawford said. The 18-year-old who never smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol or did drugs was kept on life support long enough to donate several of his organs to people in need, Crawford said.

A spokesman for the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday that he had died.

Crawford has established the Harley Crawford Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo to help them pay for costs related to the funeral, he said.

“He was so caring,” said Harley Crawford’s friend, Reylene Valencia. “When I had things going on with me, he always wanted to be there.”

The two friends would pass the time together watching television shows or movies, Valencia said. But, the Oakley and Bay Point resident loved to be out in the world, exploring other cities or attending festivals and parades across the Bay Area, she said.

Above all, he loved his family of 12 brothers and sisters, according to Valencia and Crawford.

“He was very family-oriented and he loved kids,” Valencia said.

“He was so nice. I don’t even know of him having any issues with anybody and I talked to him every day.”

Crawford said his son’s friends were involved in gangs, but Harley had never been initiated.

“I know for sure he was not in a gang,” Crawford said. “He had promised his mom he’d never gang bang. He was as close as you could be without being in a gang.”

His son was in the “wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people,” Crawford said.

Despite the fact that his son wasn’t a gang member, Crawford said he now fears for his family’s safety.

“We’ve already had several threats against us,” Crawford said, adding that sheriff’s deputies have provided escorts when needed and have helped protect the family.

Those who want to donate to the Harley Crawford Memorial Fund can contact any Wells Fargo branch, a Wells Fargo representative said.

A funeral has been planned, but Crawford said that due to concerns over safety, the details of the service will not be posted publicly.

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