Family heartbroken after 2 young mothers, friend killed in Boyle Heights crash

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Saturday, March 2, 2024
Family grieving after 2 cousins, friend killed in Boyle Heights crash
A family is in mourning following a crash in Boyle Heights that killed two young mothers and a family friend.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Loved ones are mourning the deaths of two cousins - both mothers - who were killed in a fiery crash along with a family friend in Boyle Heights.

For Perla Rodriguez-Cruz and her family, the tragedy of what happened Sunday morning is still sinking in.

Perla's sister, 29-year-old Yesenia Rodriguez-Cruz, and her cousin, 19-year-old Heidi Lopez-Cruz, died in the crash on the Calzona Street onramp to the northbound 5 Freeway.

Yesenia was the mother of two children, ages 7 and 10. Heidi leaves behind a 2-year-old.

Perla said the tragedy is something they never would have expected.

"You never think that someone you truly love, and we love them both, they were family to us - and we never thought that something like that would ever just happen," Perla said. "It's really hard."

The third person who was killed was a family friend, identified as 19-year-old Eden Jimenez Sanchez.

GoFundMe accounts have been set up to help with funeral costs.

A neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, spoke to Eyewitness News the day of the crash and described what it's like to live close to the freeway ramps.

"We're definitely concerned," the neighbor said. "We're also concerned about our vehicles because they get struck here often by people coming out or racing out or colliding into our vehicles. It's pretty unsafe."

Perla says they're still planning the funerals for all three. She says it's hard to think of Yesenia in the past tense.

"She was loving. She loved her kids, she loved her family," Perla said.

According to the family, the plan for all three of the victims is for their bodies to be sent back to Hidalgo, Mexico for burial.