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Employers, church members, strangers rally to raise funds for burials, treatment for injured boy

  • Auto Accident survivor
    Christian Flores Carlos (cq),4,
    being treated at hospital.]
    pictured on horseback, family photo

Devotional candles flickered Sunday in a Windsor home where relatives mourned 54-year-old Maria Lopez Camacho, three of her daughters-in-law and her 7-year-old grandson, all fatally injured in a fiery highway crash Friday night.

And at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where Lopez's 4-year-old grandson Christian Flores Carlos remained in critical condition, family members kept watch over the badly burned boy a day after his mother died there of her injuries.

"It's a wound in our souls that will never heal," said Elfega Carlos Colado, whose niece, Edith Carlos Medina, died Saturday.

Three others who died at the scene of the Highway 101 crash were identified by extended family as Christian's older brother, Fernando Flores Carlos, 7; Almadelia Menera-Basurto, 16, of Windsor; and Carmina Solorio, 23, of Michoacan, Mexico.

The grief of the extended Windsor and Santa Rosa families, triggered by Friday's three-car crash on Highway 101, caused a judge to temporarily release Carlos' husband from the Sonoma County Jail on Saturday and inspired support from employers, church members and strangers.

A Sonoma County Jail spokesperson confirmed that Cosme Flores Lopez received a judge's permission to remain with his family for 10 days. Flores, 28, had been in jail since Dec. 27, accused of driving without a license, driving while intoxicated and a misdemeanor marijuana charge.

"He gave his word and was set free, thanks be to God," said Carlos Colado, the aunt of Flores' late wife. "The judge's conscience moved him."

Flores and his wife's parents, who friends said were visiting the hospitalized 4-year-old Sunday, could not be reached.

At the Windsor home where Lopez lived with her children, dozens of loved ones paid their respects, placing flowers and religious candles on a hearth beside the accident victims' photos. They declined interviews, saying their shock and anguish were too fresh.

Carlos, a 23-year-old Windsor mother, had visited her husband at the county jail Friday before the commute-hour crash northbound on Highway 101 caused the 1992 Honda Civic she was driving to burst into flames.

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