Just a day before his 13 birthday, a 12-year-old boy died in a violent car crash after his father, who is suspected of driving under the influence, lost control of his vehicle and crashed in Pomona early Saturday morning.
Heartbroken family and friends gathered on Sunday near the crash site on the 57 Freeway to say prayers, sing happy birthday and mourn the loss of Abel Vazquez.
“My sister has experienced every parent’s worst nightmare and that’s the fact of having to bury your own child,” Cesar Sanchez, the victim’s uncle and godfather told KTLA’s Erin Myers.
The 12-year-old and his 33-year-old father were returning from a concert in celebration of his upcoming birthday when his dad slammed his 2016 Honda Civic into an embankment off an on ramp.
“He made it a point for his father to only get two tickets because he wanted to spend quality time with his father,” Sanchez explained.
Abel suffered serious injuries in the crash and was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
The boy’s family, already racked with grief, is now coming to terms with the possibility that Abel’s father may have played a role in his death.
“If alcohol or any other substance did play a factor in this tragic event, then we strongly feel that he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Abel’s uncle said.
The family told KTLA that Abel was known for making everyone laugh and loved to dance and play baseball. His favorite teams were the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the traffic collision,” officials with the California Highway Patrol said in a new release on Monday. “Mr. Vazquez was determined to be impaired at the of the crash, and was subsequently placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol.”