Here is their story reported by Times Standard:
What began as a trip to Disneyland ended in tragedy after a fiery wreck on Highway 101 left a Eureka family recovering from major injuries and mourning the loss of their father.
The Delgado family was driving southbound early Friday morning on Highway 101 when their Dodge Ram pickup truck was struck head-on by a Ford Bronco. According to the California Highway Patrol, the collision occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on Highway 101 north of Reynolds Highway in Mendocino County as the northbound Bronco, for unknown reasons, turned left and crossed the double yellow lines.
The crash led to the deaths of two drivers, including 44-year-old Gilberto Delgado, according to longtime family friend Karl Ferguson. The driver of the Bronco has not yet been identified. According to the CHP, the collision is under investigation and it appears impaired driving may have been a factor.
Soon after the crash, a passing driver stopped and rescued five passengers from the burning Dodge: Gilberto Delgado's 43-year-old wife Rosa, 24-year-old son Gilberto, 19-year-old daughter Anajelica and 1-year-old daughter Natalie Grace Delgado, as well as a family friend, 7-year-old Jacob Clifford of Fortuna, according to Ferguson.
The unidentified Good Samaritan could not free either of the drivers before flames engulfed both vehicles, according to the CHP.
Clifford and Natalie Grace Delgado did not sustain major injuries and were picked up and taken back to Eureka.
Ferguson said that Rose Delgado has sustained a broken sternum, a fractured hand and internal injuries; Anajelica Delgado has sustained internal injuries and broken vertebrae; and the younger Gilberto Delgado has sustained broken vertebrae, ribs, sacrum and is expected to be in a wheelchair for the next two months.
Karl Ferguson's wife Danny Ferguson said they were longtime employers of the elder Gilberto Delgado at Trinidad-based Discovery Design as well as godparents to Anajelica. Danny Ferguson said the elder Gilberto Delgado was "the hardest working person ever" and that his 15 years of work made him known to many in Humboldt County.
"He was such a dedicated employee and hard worker for his family," she said. "His children work for Rita's and go to college."
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- Cynthia Stone
- St. Joseph's Fortuna Youth Group
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- Mitch & Gail Ward/Saunders
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