Community raises $42,000 to aid family
By E. CLARK
The Martinez community has pulled together over $40,000 to help five children whose parents were killed in a traffic accident Sunday.
Roberto and Maria Bolanos, along with three of their young children and an adult cousin, were traveling westbound on Highway 4 in Discovery Bay late Sunday night when their Dodge van was struck by another vehicle. The Bolanos’ vehicle went over the north edge of the roadway, overturning in a drainage canal next to the highway.
While the back-seat passengers were rescued from the vehicle and treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital, Roberto Bolanos, 48, and his wife Maria, 45, did not survive the crash. Whether they died by drowning or from injuries sustained in the crash is yet to be determined, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
The 41-year-old San Pablo man driving the Chevrolet pickup truck that struck the Bolanos’ van had to be extricated from his vehicle.
He was taken to the hospital with major injuries.
The accident leaves the Bolanos’ eldest children, Jose, 25, and sister Liliana, 21, to raise their young siblings, ages 10, 9 and 2. Two of the children attend Las Juntas Elementary School in Martinez.
The family set up a GoFundMe account (https://www.gofundme.com/4mu5zzjm) in order to help cover costs of the funeral, and thus far, the account has raised over $42,000. A response from the family stated, “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Words will never be able to explain how much all this help means to our family,” adding that monies raised in excess of funeral expenses will go toward the children’s needs.
Authorities said speed may have played a factor in the accident, however, the incident is still under investigation.