WEST COVINA, Calif. – A husband and wife were killed – and the wife’s 13-year-old son left injured – when a carjacking suspect crashed into their car in the Southern California city of West Covina Saturday, family members told KTLA.
Gracie and Edward Contreras, both 55, had recently gotten married. They were on their way home in Covina with her son early Saturday when a man fleeing police crashed into their vehicle. Both adults were ejected, officials said.
Edward Contreras was declared dead at the scene, while Gracie Contreras died a short time later at a hospital. She leaves behind two adult children.
Her son, identified by a family member as Jacob, remains hospitalized and must undergo several surgeries. He was left with a punctured lung, a broken leg and facial injuries, Gracie Contreras’ brother Octavio Medina told KTLA.
“It’s really affecting us and hurting us really bad,” Medina said. “He’s a strong boy … he’s going to pull through.”
The boy does not know that his mother and stepfather died in the crash, but his father is at his side, Medina said.
A GoFundMe was started to help with funeral costs and the boy’s recovery. Candles and flowers were being left at the site of the crash on Monday.
The driver involved in the crash has not been identified. He was taken to a hospital before being booked into jail.
The incident unfolded just before 9 p.m. Friday when Baldwin Park police responded to a carjacking near a teen center and skate park along the 15000 block of Badillo Street. The suspect brandished a knife and demanded the victim’s Jeep Patriot, then sped off in the SUV.
The driver then headed into West Covina and authorities there were notified. Police spotted the Jeep about 2 a.m. near Durness and Sandy Hook streets and officers tried to pull it over, but the driver fled.
Eventually, the driver collided with the vehicle the family was in.