"Always friendly, always smiling. I don't think I ever saw them in anything but a good mood," a neighbor said about the couple.
A "horrific" fiery wrong-way collision on a California highway claimed the lives of four people, including a mother and father of three. The collision happened around 2:30 a.m. on March 19 on Highway 71 in Chino Hills, when a white 2021 Volvo S60 and a black 2018 Volvo S90 collided with each other. The white Volvo was reportedly driving northbound in the southbound lane at the time, per PEOPLE. Shortly after the accident, the white Volvo caught fire, according to ABC affiliate KABC.
Casualties include Gedion and Ruth Mbatha, who have three children aged three, seven, and twelve, according to a GoFundMe campaign for the family. Gedion's sister, Horelia Kuria, informed KABC that the couple had been out with friends earlier that day celebrating Gedion's birthday. "He was a dedicated dad, he was committed to his family, and he was a caring brother and caring friend to everyone that knew him," Kuria told the outlet. "Same goes for Ruth. Ruth went to nursing school here, she was a registered nurse," she added. "She was committed to her children."
As Kuria now cares for Gedion and Ruth's young kids, according to Karla Gibson, the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign, the family is in need of a lot of financial assistance to get through this traumatizing incident. "They were the sweetest. I know people usually say this about people when they're gone, but they were just really, really sweet," said Gibson to ABC, appreciative of her late neighbors. "Always friendly, always smiling. I don't think I ever saw them in anything but a good mood," she added.
"Gideon and Ruth were the nicest and friendliest of neighbors," Gibson noted in the fundraiser, sharing that she's raising funds for the young children since "many of their family members reside in Kenya and those here will have the task of caring for and ensuring these children can continue to live their lives with as little interruption as possible." The campaign added that the children will need "as much support as possible in the days, months, and years to come."
The contribution will directly go to Kuria as she helps out with the children. "The family would appreciate any assistance to cover burial/funeral expenses as well as financial assistance to continue to raise these children in their home and give them everything their parents would have loved to," Gibson added in the fundraiser.
"I'm just reaching out to everyone. Let's help these kids. Let's keep the lights on for them. Let's help them go to college," Kuria said. "Let's pick up where the parents left, because we can do it for them."
An update on the GoFundMe asks supporters to continue sharing the fundraiser, adding that the children are very grateful. "Please continue to share. Thank you all on behalf of the family and children. Their hearts are full of gratitude."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe