Fundraiser Setup for Family of Tragic I-80 accident that Claimed Three Lives

Published On March 2, 2019 | By Rob Arias | News & Commentary

A GoFundMe campaign has been created for the family that lost three siblings in a tragic accident near Emeryville on Thursday. Four family members were traveling together from their home in San Pablo in the early morning. They were rushing to visit their father who is hospitalized in SF with stage four colon cancer and was ‘coding’.

Their silver Ford Escape swerved and crashed into the back of a big-rig truck that was parked illegally on the shoulder of westbound I-80 west of the Powell Street on-ramp. The driver had apparently pulled over to sleep.

Two sisters and a brother died in the crash and a 17-year-old brother was taken to a hospital and said to be in critical condition.

Speed and the wet road conditions may have been factors in the crash according to CHP Officer Herman Baza. “The combination of both is always not a good mix.”

Eli, Sarah, and Eva Villarreal were all graduates of Mission High School in San Francisco. Aaron, the survivor of the crash, has had multiple surgeries and remains hospitalized at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Their father remains fighting for his life in a SF hospital. “He doesn’t know anything, Aaron doesn’t know anything either. We don’t want them to know anything,” their mother Yanira noted as she fought back tears in this ABC 7 interview.


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Rogue Transportation LLC out of Oregon owns the big rig but did not provide comment on the accident or the driver. This KPIX video segment notes that long-haul drivers are highly monitored but finding places to park and rest can sometimes be challenging.

The campaign has quickly exceeded its $75,000 goal. You can make your own contribution on GoFundMe.com.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

2 Responses to Fundraiser Setup for Family of Tragic I-80 accident that Claimed Three Lives

  1. Juliet Mevi-Shiflett says:

    How does one donate? What a tragedy.

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