"It's tragic for the community. It’s tragic for our officers that respond to these incidents."
Handling the death of your dear ones is a painful experience. It is even worse when you have to bid farewell to multiple of them at the same time during a joyous occasion. One family, thus, is in the throes of an unspeakable tragedy.
According to People, seven children, along with an adult identified as Gabriela Verdin from California, passed away in an accident on New Years Day.
Open SmartNews and read "7 Children, Adult Killed in Head-On Car Collision on New Year’s Day Identified by Grieving Family" here: https://t.co/gp2l9mD1Gr— MrCharley (@Charley58115169) January 5, 2021
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The members of the family were killed when a 2013 Dodge Journey driven by 28-year-old Daniel Luna collided with their 2007 Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven by Gabriela Verdin. Luna also died in the accident. The California Highway Patrol stated that the accident occurred after Luna veered onto the dirt shoulder while traveling southbound on the highway. Luna then overcorrected while returning to the highway. Unfortunately, he swerved over the centerline and crashed into the vehicle containing the eight family members. As a result of the collision, the truck was "fully engulfed in flames," leading to the death of all people involved.
Officials are still investigating the incident and are trying to determine the involvement of drugs or alcohol. Meanwhile, they added that Verdin's vehicle only had six available seat belts. Capt. Kevin Clays of the California Highway Patrol stated that the risk of severe injury or death is "far greater" while traveling without a seatbelt. "It's tragic for the community. It’s tragic for our officers that respond to these incidents," said Clays, according to the New York Times.
The accident has undoubtedly caused a lot of pain for the Verdins. The family has started a GoFundMe page to aid with the financial expenses of the funeral services. In the campaign created by Reyna Verdin, they stated, "On January 1, 2021 our families (Verdin, Pulido, and Ayala) lost eight members in a tragic accident. Gabriela Verdin, Brooke Pulido, Giada Pulido, Jonah Pulido, Mia Pulido, Daniella Ayala, Camila Ayala, and Anthony Ayala were taken from us while returning home."
"While we cannot begin to understand the reason we lost them all at once, we are burdened with the reality of having to lay eight family members to rest at one time. We take solace in knowing that they left this world together," wrote the family.
They added, "We humbly request any help you can provide the family with memorial costs to allow them to focus their time on grieving. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers from everyone in the community; we know that Gaby and all the kids were loved and we hope to honor that memory forever."