Relatives ID 4 Victims of Fatal Highland Crash as Grandfather, Teen, 2 Children

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Friends and family held a vigil Tuesday evening at the site where four family members were killed in a fiery rollover collision in Highland the day before.

Two children, ages 7 and 8, were killed in a fiery crash that also left two other relatives dead on May 8, 2017. (Credit: GoFundMe)

Juan Perez, 83, Nicolas Luna, 17, Vanessa Hermosillo, 8, and Aiden Hermosillo, 7, died after their Ford Taurus rolled over and burst into flames following a two-car crash in the area of Palm Avenue and Cypress Street, according to one of two fundraising pages, as well as those gathered at the remembrance.

The two children had just been picked up from school prior to the collision on Monday afternoon, according to Nasaria Becerra, a relative of the victims.

“I guess they were turning to go home -- because they had just came out of school -- and an Acura was coming, and they thought, I guess they thought the Acura was going to stop. He didn’t, ended up hitting them and from what we were told, the car instantly went up in flames," she said in an interview Monday night.

Becerra identified the man as her grandfather, and the teen as her cousin. Another relative said the 83-year-old man was the two young children's great-grandfather.

"I love those kids so much," said Valeria Hermosillo with tears in her eyes. "I can't believe this happened. I just saw them last Sunday at my work."

Nicholas Luna is seen in a photo posted to a GoFundMe account.

Three of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Highland Police Department. The fourth, identified by Becerra as Luna, managed to get out of the car, but suffered burns to about 90 percent of his body.

He was taken to a hospital where he died several hours later.

"They didn't deserve this. They didn't even live their life," said Joshua Venegas, the children's older brother.

Venegas told KTLA community members often bemoan the safety of intersection his family members died in, where the roadway stretches for several blocks without a stop sign or traffic light.

"It's just knowing that there was a chance they could have lived," he said through tears.

The children's mother is a single mom and works as a bus driver, according to family. She lost her 19-year-old son in a separate car crash a year before Monday's accident claimed the lives of her younger children.

The vigil Tuesday evening was held near the crash site. Many were still in shock that so much tragedy could befall one family.

"It's just so sad that you can't believe it," Flora Mackamul said. "How can so many things happen to one family?"

Both young kids attended Highland Grove Elementary School. On Tuesday afternoon, the Redlands Unified School District released the following statement to KTLA about the deaths of the two students.

Juan Perez is seen in a family photo provided to KTLA.

"The District is deeply saddened by the loss of two of our Highland Grove student’s yesterday afternoon. The District is providing crisis response at the school site and in the student’s classes. Our heart goes out to the student’s family and friends," the statement read.

The family has set up two GoFundMe accounts to help pay for memorial and funeral expenses; one was for Perez and the two children, while the other was for Luna.

"In this terrible time of mourning, our family is asking and accepting any/all types of donations so that we can give them a proper remembrance and burial," one of the fundraising pages stated.

Wally Haddad is the owner of Cee Vee Liquor Store, a business located in front of the crash site. He has donated $500 to the family to show support and raise awareness about the lack of signage at the intersection where the crash occurred.

"We don't have to wait to take four lives to learn a lesson," said Haddad. "So they should have done that a long time ago."

The San Bernardino County coroner's office has not yet formally released the names of the victims.

KTLA's Mariel Turner contributed to this article. 

Four people were killed and one person injured after a two-car crash in Highland on May 8, 2017. (Credit: Southern California News Group)

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