It was a fiery crash on the 210 Freeway in Sunland early Sunday morning when an SUV rear-ended an 18-wheeler parked alongside the freeway. Of the five people inside the SUV, three were killed: 41-year-old Michael Asam, his wife Shannon and their 14-year-old son Brennan. Two other children ages 11 and 9 survived.
"We were just devastated," said Linda Fattic, the Asam family's neighbor.
Fattic had known the family for years, and they lived right across the across the street from her in Riverside.
"They were great parents. They did so many things together with their children. I can remember Mike gathering the neighborhood children and taking them for a little hike," Fattic described.
"It was really sad when my mom told me," said another neighbor Ashley Huizar.
Huizar used to play with one of the survivors, Kylie Asam. Like many of the neighbors around here, she's taken the news especially hard.
"I was about to cry, because I've known her for so long, and she was one of my best friends," said Huizar.
Michael Asam was a power line technician for Riverside Public Utilities.
"It's nearly impossible to express our sadness to the extended Asam family and the two surviving children, or to even comprehend this tragedy. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers," said the company's general manager David Wright.
Brennan Asam went to school at Woodcrest Christian in Riverside. Monday, students held a prayer vigil.
The family was headed out of town for Thanksgiving when the accident happened. Now, with the parents and one other child gone, the two survivors will be staying with family.
"What an incredible loss for those two children, just two special parents. I'm just so thankful they have their grandparents and aunt," said Fattic.