GARY (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A family member has set up a fundraiser page to help with funeral expenses for her family members killed in a wrong-way, head-on crash last week that killed four people, including a 14-year-old child, on the Indiana Toll Road.
“My biggest fear has always been losing someone close to me and it happened,” Jacqueline Flores said in an online post on the fundraiser page. Her uncle, aunt and cousin died in the crash.
“I still can’t believe it,” Flores wrote. “My family is hurting and I can’t do anything about it.”
Emergency crews responded to the crash about 1:40 a.m. Sept. 1 in the eastbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road near the Grant Street exit in Gary, according to Indiana State Police.
A Toyota SUV was being driven west in the eastbound lanes without its headlights on, police said. It collided head-on with a Jeep SUV, driven by Flores’ uncle.
The driver of the Toyota, identified by a family member as 25-year-old Tiara Davis, of Calumet City, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lake County Coroner’s Office, police said.
The driver of the Jeep, 45-year-old Octavio Chavez-Renovato, of Chicago, also died at the scene. His front seat passenger and wife, 34-year-old Eva Gonzales, and their 14-year-old son were also pronounced after the crash.
The family’s three daughters, who range in age from 7 months old to 11 years old, were seriously injured and initially taken to Methodist Hospital in Gary, according to police.
Flores’ grandparents, who live in Mexico, were unable to visit their deceased son and grandchild because of health issues and were requesting that their son, Chavez-Renovato, be brought home to them, Flores wrote.
“This was so unexpected, we were not prepared,” Flores said, “so I decided to make this go fund me account to take a little weight off their shoulders.”
Flores wrote on the page that two of her injured cousins were “doing good.” The third cousin was still hospitalized when she wrote the post on Wednesday.