WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- A family whose work truck was carjacked during a wild police chase used the proceeds from an online fundraiser to purchase a new vehicle.
Video from AIR7 HD captured the harrowing moments when the truck belonging to Andres Benitez' family was carjacked from the driveway of their Whittier home, allegedly by the suspect identified as Johnny Anchondo.
The family had purchased the vehicle only three weeks before the chaotic encounter. Within a few hours, it had been totaled by the man who stole it.
Benitez reluctantly started a GoFundMe page, thinking the donations might cover the cost of new tools. But that same night, the fundraiser topped $25,000. By Sunday, it had passed $100,000.
"It just kept increasing rapidly, and I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" Benitez said in an interview. "I couldn't believe what had just happened. It was such a blessing from God at the time."
Benitez was able to use some of the donations to purchase a brand-new Ram work truck.
This week, the Benitez brothers met for dinner with John Reynolds, whose cargo van was also stolen during the same police pursuit as news helicopters recorded the incident from overhead.
Benitez said they were able to gift Reynolds and his family a significant amount of money to help him purchase a new van.