OAK LAWN, Ill. — A community is mourning the loss of four members of the same family killed in a crash in New Mexico.
Fransisco Salazar, 41, was killed in the single-vehicle crash, southeast of Albuquerque Saturday. His son, Daniel Salazar, 17, and daughter Natalie, 10, as well as their grandfather Ramon Morales, 69, were also killed in the crash.
Fransisco Salazar’s wife Mayra Salazar, 39, and two of their other children, Fernando Salazar, 16, and Maribel Salazar, 21, were injured.
The family lived in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
This family on was a summer road trip to visit their extended family when this crash happened. Police said Mayra Salaza was driving when their SUV swerved into on-coming traffic near Vaughn, New Mexico. Police said Mayra Salaza overcorrected and the vehicle overturned. Everyone, but Mayra Salaza was ejected. Police said she appeared to be the only one wearing a seat belt.
In Oak Lawn Tuesday, family friends remembered them and are attempting to help the others who survived.
Blanca Estela Sosa is a friend of the family.
“It’s like I lost my family,” she told WGN News. “It’s so sad I cannot believe it.”
Cynthia Mills was Natalie Salazar’s 4th-grade teacher.
“She was a wonderful student and a bright girl,” she said. “And she made the lives of everyone she met better. She’ll be sorely missed by us all.”
The family now is trying to make arrangements to get the bodies of their loved ones back to Chicago.
A GoFundMe page was set up for donations for that and for the medical expenses for those injured.