One of two children who were killed during a race in Texas over the weekend has been identified.
Daniel Trujillo-Jones, 6, died after a driver lost control of his car and hit several bystanders at the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport on Saturday, a family friend told ABC Station KSAT.
Chance Jones, Daniel’s father, and Katy Walls, Chance’s girlfriend, were also injured in the accident and hospitalized, according to KSAT. The boy’s two younger siblings, aged 4 and 3 months, were discharged from hospital.
Although police have yet to release the names of the children involved in the crash, they had previously identified Chance, 26, and Walls, 27, among the eight people injured.
In an update Monday, the Kerrville Police Department said Chance remains hospitalized in stable condition, while Walls is in critical condition.
Rebecca Cedillo, 46, and Michael Gonzales, the 34-year-old driver who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash, were hospitalized for their injuries, police said.
Two other people, along with the two children – the latter of whom was identified as a 4-year-old boy and a 3-month-old girl – were also taken to local hospitals for ‘precautionary assessments’ and later released, by police.
Daniel was remembered as “full of life”, according to family friend Kary Sabedra.
Sabedra, owner of the business where the boy’s father works, told KSAT that Daniel would “just come up and say hello to everyone” at company events.
“She was just the nicest person,” he added. “Very mature for his age.”
In a nod to his children, Daniel’s father’s biography on the company’s website says “becoming a dad” was one of his greatest accomplishments.
Although Sabedra did not attend the racing event, he learned about it from a number of employees who were there.
“One of our employees saw the car coming, told everyone to run. They all scattered to get out of the way,” he told KSAT.
Sabedra has organized two GoFundMe pages: one for the family and another for Daniel. He told KSAT that Chance suffered from head trauma and a knee injury, while Walls had “serious injuries to his legs and pelvis.”
“Chance and her family have a long road to recovery and healing ahead of them. The medical expenses have already started to pile up,” Sabedra wrote on the GoFundMe family page.
In addition to donations, Sabedra asked people to “send all their good thoughts and prayers” to Daniel’s “bonus dad and mom” and the boy’s mother, “who has to make the hardest decisions.” difficult for their boy”.
“No parent should feel the pain of losing a child,” read a post about Daniel’s fundraiser.
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The accident happened on Saturday afternoon when a car participating in the ‘Airport Race Wars 2’ drag racing event “lost control and ran off the track, ramming into parked vehicles and striking spectators who were watching the races,” the Kerrville Police Department said in a statement.
Police said a 6-year-old boy died at the scene, while an 8-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In an update Monday, police said their initial assessment of the crash indicated Gonzales “began to lose control about halfway through the 1/8 mile track.” After losing rear traction, his vehicle began to slide on the track, and eventually “slid off the track”, according to authorities.
The event was previously described by the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau as “an action-packed, family-friendly day of all no-prep drag racing” where “some of the fastest drag cars compete for over $8,000 in total prices”, by The Hill, USA today and NBC News.
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Flyin’ Diesel Performance, the company that organized the event, issued a statement over the weekend, expressing its “deepest condolences to the families”.
“We remain in prayer for strength and comfort during this difficult time,” they wrote, noting that the police “have our full cooperation.”
The investigation is still ongoing.