The stunning death of a three siblings in a crash on Interstate 80 early Thursday spurred an outpouring of donations on social media and tributes for a trio described as “three good souls.”
A donations page raised more than $28,000 by 9:30 a.m., about 14 hours after it was created. More than 500 people had made donations, and the page was trending on social media.
The tribute is to “The Villareal Angels.” ABC7, this newspaper’s media partner, cited the trio’s brother and identified them as 26-year-old Eli Villareal, 22-year-old Sarah Villareal and 18-year-old Eva Villareal.
Their 17-year-old brother, Aaron Villareal, remains in the hospital with critical injuries, California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Herman Baza said Friday.
“He’s still in the hospital, still fighting hard for his life,” Baza said. “It’s just a horrible situation.”
The four were en route to San Francisco around 1 a.m. when they slammed into a big rig parked on the right shoulder of Interstate 80 near the Powell Street exit in Emeryville.
The CHP said the big rig driver stopped there to get some rest. It’s only legal to stop on the shoulder of a freeway in an emergency, and sleeping is not considered an emergency, Baza said.
The four apparently were on their way to see their sick father.
“This tragic accident happened on the way to see their dad at [a] hospital who’s in critical condition,” the donation page said.
Speed may have been a factor, as were the slick roads caused by Thursday morning’s rain.
Check back for updates.