The local authorities reported that the reason for the collision is unknown and investigations are trying to gauge the reason the Tesla crashed.
Captain Steve Biakanja is grieving the loss of his three children and his ex-wife, who passed away in a terrible car accident earlier this month. The devastated father is a firefighter and works at the San Jose Fire Station. The accident caused the death of his two 14-year-old twin daughters, 12-year-old son and his ex-wife, reported The Mercury News.
The twin daughters, Leigh and Lucy, along with their brother Ben, were in the vehicle with their mother, Lisa Biakanja, on Highway 156 in Hollister. The four of them were traveling in their 2014 Tesla when the vehicle veered into traffic, resulting in them hitting a tractor-trailer on the road.
The local authorities reported that the reason for the collision is unknown and investigations are trying to gauge the reason the Tesla crashed. Biakanja has been left to grieve the sudden demise of his three children. His children were students at Carmel Middle School and were about to start their new week at the school.
"Coming back, the second week of school to this news this morning was certainly very tragic and was hard for a lot of staff and students to hear," stated Carmel Unified School District Superintendent Ted Knight. The children's classmates and teachers at Carmel Middle School were heartbroken by the loss of their friends and students.
"Some students did need to go home. Some students are in our wellness center talking to mental health professionals. Others might have just needed a little quiet time," added Knight.
During this difficult time for Biakanja, his colleagues at work took it upon themselves to help him while he grieves the loss of his family. The firefighters of San Jose station organized a GoFundMe which has been registered as "Memorial Fund for Children of San Jose Firefighter."
"In the wake of great tragedy, San Jose Fire Station 16 is asking for your support to raise funds for Captain Steve Biakanja as he navigates a new reality following the recent deaths of all three of his children in a terrible auto accident. The funds raised will be used to cover the children’s funeral costs, as well as counseling, meals, and various other forms of support for Captain Biakanja and his wife, Thuan," read the caption written on the GoFundMe page.
The fundraiser also talks about Biakaja's children and their interests, and shared their memories.
"Captain Biakanja’s daughter, Leigh (14), was a Sea Cadet who enjoyed learning about science and playing softball. Her twin sister Lucy, loved animals, raising chickens and doves as a hobby. Their younger brother, Ben (12), leaves behind his collection of World War II memorabilia, an avid interest of his," the description read.
Every member of the team came together to support Biakanja in his time of need. "At San Jose Fire, each member of the team is considered family, and in times of need, a family must stand together. Captain Biakanja has stood guard for his community for years, living out the department’s creed of, 'For the Kids,' in service to his people. In his time of need, we ask for your assistance for his kids. With your help, we can do our best to ease the burden of this tragedy and honor the memory of his beloved children," added Biakanja's team at the fire station.
Even though the void of his lost family can't be filled, this fundraiser aims to at least ease the time he's going through and honor his children through these funds. The goal was set for $250,000 and the group was able to collect $268,150.
Later the organizers also added an update on the page which said, "Captain Biakanja is humbled by the kindness and generosity during his time of need. He is sure the funds raised will be more than sufficient to offset the costs they were intended for and has been considering how he may use the remaining money to return the kindness to his community."
"Captain Biakanja believes that with sufficient support, he can create a scholarship fund to send three underprivileged students each year from Carmel Middle School to the annual field trip as a way of honoring his children. With your support, he hopes his children’s legacy may live on and continue to bring light and joy to their school even after they’re gone," they added.
Cover Image Credit: GoFundMe