For the third time in 20 months, a family is planning a memorial for a loved one who died in a rollover crash.
On Christmas Eve, 47-year-old Christine Wagner died after the car she was a passenger in lost control on a rain-slicked part of Great Overland Southern Stage Route in Julian, in San Diego County. Wagner and the driver, 38-year-old Rosario Garcia Ibarra, were killed instantly when Ibarra’s vehicle rolled over while trying to navigate a puddle at the side of the road.
Ibarra’s two children were able to escape the wreckage, San Diego television station KGTV reported. Ibarra was ejected from the 2003 Nissan Xterra while Wagner remained inside, the San Diego County coroner’s office said.
Wagner’s nieces described her as reliable, understanding and forgiving. She was referred to as the glue that held the family together.
“She was very selfless,” niece Lisa Stanley told KGTV. “Very giving. If anybody needed anything she was there for you.”
Wagner attended Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Escondido, KGTV reported. Wagner and Ibarra and the children were returning from a church function when they crashed, family members said.
Stanley confirmed that Wagner was the mother of 24-year old Tabitha Wagner, who died in April 2015 in a single-car crash on Via de la Valle in Del Mar.
“It devastated her. She wasn’t the same afterwards,” Stanley recalled.
Three days later, Christine Wagner’s father-in-law died in a car crash in the central California city of Chowchilla.
“Everyone’s died the same way. It’s definitely a shock,” Stanley said. “I would expect people to die of cancer, expect people to die of a more chronic illness, but the fact that three family members have died from three different car accidents is just pretty intimidating. I don’t — honestly — want to drive anymore.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Wagner’s husband and three surviving children deal with their loss.