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Family reflects on Burney teen killed in weekend crash

Published On: Jun 18 2013 07:42:52 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 18 2013 07:43:16 PM CDT
Jeffery Berlt, 17
BURNEY, Calif. -

The family of 17-year-old Jeffery Berlt, who was killed in a crash this weekend in eastern Shasta County, shared memories of the teen.

His grandparents flipped through pictures of the teen at the family's home in Burney on Tuesday. Berlt's father, Allen, said Jeffery had just graduated from high school, and was only two weeks shy of his 18th birthday.

Family members said he was thrilled to be back in Burney. Jeffery had graduated in May from Casa Roble High School in Orangevale, near Sacramento.

The crash happened just before 1 a.m. on Saturday at Vallejo St. in Johnson Park.

Investigators said Berlt was driving a white Chevy Tahoe eastbound on Highway 299 when the vehicle drifted onto the north shoulder, traveled down an embankment and hit a tree.

He was taken to Mayers Memorial Hospital with major injuries, and later died.

The family said Jeffery was returning home after dropping his girlfriend off in a nearby neighborhood, and he fell asleep at the wheel.

The crash was just a couple hundred yards from his father's home.

Jeffery's funeral services are set for Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. at the Burney Cemetery. The community is welcome to attend.

A reception will follow at the Burney Veterans Hall.

There will also be a car wash in Orangevale to raise money for the Berlt family.