FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Fresno brothers have a huge void in their lives after a hit-and-run crash devastated their family.
Jacqueline Rivera, 40, and Aaliyah Chavez, 11, died in that collision at Chestnut and Jensen avenues earlier this week. The fiery crash has left relatives mourning the loss of their mother and sister. But three others made it out, and for that, family members say they're grateful.
Francisco and Jose Chavez are remembering the impact their mother and sister had on the lives of everyone they knew. This Thanksgiving, there was no turkey, and they were in no mood to celebrate. Instead, they returned to the Southeast Fresno corner where their lives were changed forever.
"It brings back those horrible flashbacks. It's just a tough thing to see. I just don't really like, it's painful," Francisco Chavez said.
The evidence still lingers: the police tape, glass and charred pavement. Jose was in the car and had just started to doze off when police say a drunk driver slammed into them and drove away. Instantly, their overturned car was on fire.
Jose managed to get out, but burned his face and hands trying to rescue his girlfriend and sister. The flames were too much; his mother and sister never made it out.
Thursday, they tried to focus on what their mom taught them: to be grateful for what they do have.
"We're trying to be thankful for like my brother, my dad, and how his girlfriend managed to get out alive. But I don't really know. I can't really explain it, how today is going," Francisco said.
Already they miss their mom's turkey and her sweet treats -- the ones they looked forward to every year.
"She'd usually do like some cake, some 'choco flan,' I don't know how you say that in English, but it's like some kind of Mexican cuisine dessert. Those were kind of like her trademarks," Francisco said.
In addition to planning their funeral, Jose and Francisco are still trying to raise money to cover burial costs. They will be selling tacos and having a car wash at Sunnyside High School on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Brothers mourn mother, sister killed in Fresno hit-and-run crash
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