Thieves ransacked the home of a California family after the parents and two of their three children were killed when a man drove the wrong way down the highway and crashed into them in a suspected DUI incident.
Parents Antonio and Brittney Montano, both 29 years old, were killed in the crash along with their nine-year-old daughter Marianna and five-year-old son Antonio Jr. Their four-year-old son Julian is expected to fully recover after suffering head trauma and several fractures. Fox 40 in Sacramento reported that his aunt and uncle plan to adopt the boy.
The family members were killed at around 5am on 20 November on Interstate 80 in Nevada County. They were on the road travelling to the Grand Canyon for a Thanksgiving vacation, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser started by Ms Montano’s brother.
The alleged drunk driver was on probation from a previous DUI, local media reported.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that the family’s home in North Highlands, outside the California capital of Sacramento, had been broken into and many of their belongings were stolen.
“That family has suffered unimaginable loss,” family attorney Chelsea Monahan told Fox 40.
The suspect in the crash has been identified as 32-year-old Michael Scott Kelley. Fox 2 reported that he had previously been arrested for driving under the influence and was on probation.
According to the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office in California, Kelley is facing four counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
KCRA reported that the probation prompted the murder charges. Kelley remained in hospital after being injured in the crash.
Neighbours told Fox 40 that they think the burglars entered the Montanos’ home on Tuesday via the backyard.
“The Montanos have now been victimised again by an alleged break-in and theft to Julian’s family home, adding further insult to the immense suffering the family is already enduring,” Ms Monahan told Fox 40.
The GoFundMe set up by the family’s relatives had as of Thursday raised almost $110,000 – above and beyond the goal of $30,000.
Julian’s uncle Anthony Gonzalez, the brother of Ms Montano and the organiser of the fundraiser, wrote on the page on 30 November: “We are so grateful for every single person who has donated and felt inclined to help our family during this time. Julian’s family home did get broken into, which is being investigated but we were able to retrieve his favourite toys and clothes. Julian is recovering wonderfully and is such a strong little boy.”
“We want to have all four of them buried so Julian can visit his family when he wants, any time he wants,” Mr Gonzalez told KCRA. “I’ll go take him because they were taken away too soon.”
“We’re going to take this just one step at a time. We’re going to get him into therapy, and we’re all going to get through this together,” he told the outlet.
California Highway Police has said that the driver of a third vehicle involved in the crash sustained moderate injuries.
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