Fundraisers held after Riverdale mom, 4 kids killed in car accident

CLOVIS, Calif.

Esmeralda Saucedo and her children -- Nikko, Isaac, Jada and Breanna -- died in the fiery car crash last weekend.

People have donated more than $25,000 to the online accounts set up by the family. On Saturday, two events took place: one in Riverdale and one in Clovis. Organizers estimate those efforts will bring in another $30,000 for the family.

Volunteers spent the day on roadsides, holding signs for a car wash. The signs bared the pictures of Esmeralda Saucedo and her four children. All of them were killed the night of Feb. 15 at an intersection just south of Riverdale after the CHP says another driver ran a stop sign.

Esmeralda's husband -- Joe Saucedo -- is now left with the task of burying his family. He was at the car wash on Saturday, though he was too devastated to say any words.

Nearly 100 drivers had their cars washed at the fundraiser in Clovis, and organizers say the donations have been very generous.

"Just $20s, $100s and $50s, for all the money that everyone's been giving us, it's really grateful," said organizer Thong Pham.

Organizers say the space, the water and the supplies were donated by Pep Boys so all the proceeds can go to the family.

More fundraisers took place in Riverdale. More than 2,000 lunch tickets were sold. Volunteers also held a raffle and a crafts sale. All the items being sold were donated by members of the community.

"I think in some way everyone can relate to this family. If you're a mother, you can relate with your babies. If you're a father, you can relate to Joe," said organizer Melissa Todd.

Family members say their gratitude is hard to put into words.

"We've crossed paths with a lot of these people, just a 'hi' and a smile. And even them not knowing us, this is awesome what they've done," said Martha Moreno, Esmeralda Saucedo's sister.

Family members plan to hold a candlelight vigil for Esmeralda Saucedo and her children on Sunday night. It will be held at the crash site on Marks and Excelsior avenues, just south of Riverdale, at 7 p.m.

The family will hold the funeral at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Riverdale. They have not decided if the funeral will be open to the public.

The families of the five victims also asked Action News to share this message to the community:

"There are no words to express our appreciation to the community and people all over the U.S. that have reached out to us with words of comfort, prayers and generous donations. Your support and prayers are carrying us through the most devastating time in our lives and we can never say thank you enough. As our family and close friends grieve the loss (of) Esmeralda, Breanna, Jada, Nikko and Isaac, we ask that you respect our privacy as we find the strength to lay them to rest and celebrate the life of five beautiful souls that left us too soon."

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