On Sept. 6, the Flores family felt the tragic loss of three of their own when a drunk driver hit and killed a 4-year-old boy, his mother, and his grandmother.
The Turlock Police Department reached out to the Flores’ in an attempt to help the family that was hit by such a huge loss that day.
“It affected us as well,” Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson told the Flores family. “We had officers out there and we wanted to do something for the family this year.”
Maria Elena Flores, 47, and Julia Flores, 20, were walking through their neighborhood with Julia’s son, Brian Flores, 4, and daughter, Emily Flores, 2, on the Sept. 6 when a drunk driver came speeding Rockwood Way veered off the road and hit Maria, Julia, and Brian.
The two adults were declared deceased at the scene and Brian was declared deceased after being transported to an area hospital. Julia was not hit or injured in the collision.
The driver and the passenger of the speeding vehicle fled after colliding into an unoccupied home, but the driver, later identified as Luis Miguel Cruz, 28, was later arrested and is facing three counts of murder, among other charges. Cruz remains in custody in the Stanislaus County Jail on $4.5 million bail.
“We’re so sorry,” said Jackson. “It’s such a terrible loss and we feel it as well.”
The Turlock Police Department donated $1,000, in the form of two gift cards, to family through the funds it has raised this year. Part of the funds came from the Ice Bucket Challenge that Jackson and Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman took in September, along with other events and donations from members of the Turlock Police Department.
The children of the Flores family received some extra special gifts from both Blue Santa and the Letters to Santa charity.
Blue Santa came to visit the children and gave them some special treats from the Turlock Police Department.
Letters to Santa, a Stanislaus County program started by Modesto firefighter Justin Crone, also gave the three children a Santa bag containing a coat, a shirt, pants, and other clothes, as well as a toy selected from the children’s letter to Santa.
“When I spoke to Justin about your tremendous loss, he was moved to have his charity help out in the way that it could,” said Turlock Police Sgt. Neil Cervenka.
The program also donated a turkey dinner to the Flores family. In total, the Letters to Santa charity helped out more than 470 children in Stanislaus County this year.
Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson shakes hands with Emily Flores and the rest of the Flores family.
Photo: Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com