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Monday, Nov. 22, 2004 at 4:19 AM
Army Private First Class Jose Ricardo Flores
The grandmother of a local soldier killed in Iraq earlier this week died in a car crash as she traveled from Mexico to attend his funeral.
army_private_first_class_jose_flores.jpg, image/jpeg, 303x234
Video of ABC7 TV news report: http://ww2.abc7.com/global/video/popup/pop_index.asp?ClipID1=294727&h1=Double%20Tragedy%20for%20a%20Southland%20Family&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=126700&activePane=info&playerVersion=1&rnd=19195800
Double Tragedy for a Southland Family
SANTA CLARITA — Tragedy strikes twice for a Santa Clarita soldier's family. Army Private First Class Jose Flores was killed in Iraq living behind a newborn son who will never see or know his father.
This tragedy that began in the war in Iraq, got even worse as mourners traveled to Santa Clarita to join the family.
Ricardo was raised in Santa Clarita and that is where his family still lives. This family has more to mourn than just his death alone.
Twenty-one-year-old Ricardo Flores died in Mosul when he was killed in action earlier this week. He never got to hold his new baby Angel. Ricardo's wife is also in the military dealing with being a new mother and a widow.
When Ricardo died, his grandparents, who live in Mexico, were headed to Santa Clarita when tragedy again struck this family.
Luis Flores, Ricardo's uncle, told ABC7 Eyewitness News about the latest tragedy. He said, "On the way to the airport they were rear-ended by a truck and the van they were traveling in was basically compressed. The grandmother ended up dying in the accident. So it is a double tragedy. "
ABC7 Eyewitness News talked to a spokesperson for the company that he worked for. He told us, "We initially heard that Ricardo had fallen and we were obviously very saddened. We then learned that he had a son just eight days prior to his death. We do understand that he did get to see a picture on the Internet in Iraq of his son, but obviously he never got to hold his son and never will. We are going to ensure that this young man (the baby) will have a life and have money for college or whatever he needs may be."
Five members of Ricardo's family work for Blue Barrel, a division of Waste Management Company, the 16-member team has unofficially adopted this baby. They say he may have lost his father to the war, but in another way he has gained 16 fathers. They are starting a fund and calling it the Angel fund.
MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
DAVE HALL IN TRUST FOR GABRIEL FLORES
MAIL TO: BLUE BARREL DISPOSAL
25772 SPRINGBROOK ROAD
SAUGUS, CA 91350.
OR YOU MAY GO TO ANY BANK OF AMERICA BRANCH TO MAKE A DONATION TO ACCOUNT NUMBER : 2 4 2 7 8 0 6 4 1 3 -
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