Family members of Chicano Park crash victims speak out

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — It’s been five days since the catastrophic crash in Chicano Park that killed four people.

For the first time, the loved ones of those killed shared how much they will be missed.

The memorial in Chicano Park keeps growing, which is a testament to the way San Diegans are showing their support for the families of those killed in the park last weekend.

One day after prosecutors formally charged the 42-year-old Navy sailor whose pickup plunged over the Coronado Bridge, family members expressed their grief and their gratitude.

Jacob Contreras is the nephew of Cruz Contreras, who was killed in the park, along with his wife Annemarie. 

Jacob said his family brought birthday balloons to the park to celebrate what would have been Annemarie’s 51st birthday.

Jacob said his uncle and aunt were role models. Cruz, a counselor for troubled youth, and his wife, an educator who taught children with special needs. The couple from Chandler, Arizona were generous with their hearts and their home.

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They were foster parents to as many as 25 children over the years.

Jacob also spoke about the lives of Andrea Banks and his girlfriend, Francine Jimenez. Francine was a mother of four and a grandmother.

Andre Banks had been dating Francine for almost a year.

Tommie Camarillo, is a community leader who was in the park of the day of the crash. After years of futile complaints about dangerous conditions on the bridge, she said there is now no excuse for inaction.

No funeral arrangements have been announced so far. Jacob said his family is working on organizing a motorcycle and vintage car rally to honor his uncle and aunt.

In the meantime, the driver accused of causing the crash remains in the hospital on $2 million bail.

Categories: Local San Diego News