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Family remembers father and 7-year-old boy killed in Fresno crash

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Family members say they are devastated and don't understand why the other driver chose to get behind the wheel while under the influence.

Video Transcript

- We are suffering. We are hurting. Like our lives aren't going to be the same.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: Family members gathered Monday to remember 45-year-old Jose Castillo known fondly as Pepe and his seven-year-old son Jose Castillo Jr also known as JJ. The two were killed in a crash Saturday night that also injured four other family members. Castillo's sister says he was a farm worker and the sole provider for his wife and six children.

RUBY PIMENTAL: He was so loving, so amazing. Extended help to anyone and everyone that needed it.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: She says JJ was a happy kid and was extremely close to his brother and twin, Nathaniel.

RUBY PIMENTAL: He was so smart, so sweet, so playful.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: Just before the crash, the family was together in Selma celebrating 12-year-old Sarah's first communion. She was also badly injured in the crash. The Castillo family was less than a mile away from home when the crash happened at North and Marks Avenue.

MATT RADKE: This particular vehicle which was a Dodge pickup had ran a stop sign traveling northbound Marks as it approached North, colliding with a family in a 2003 escalate.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: The CHP says 22-year-old Chauvin Cortez was driving under the influence and had his 10-month-old daughter with him. Their pickup burst into flames but Fresno County Sheriff's deputies were nearby and able to pull both of them out. The baby was not hurt. Deputies were already in the area looking for Cortez in connection to a domestic violence call they received just before the crash.

MATT RADKE: This is not an accident. This this is a choice that people make. That's a selfish choice that people make that causes tragedy for other families.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: The CHP says there was only one person using a seatbelt in the Castillo family vehicle. Castillo's sister says she doesn't know why they weren't wearing seatbelts, but says she's devastated that the other driver chose to get behind the wheel while under the influence.

RUBY PIMENTAL: They would have made it home, they would have made it home.

JESSICA HARRINGTON: All four of the children who were involved in the crash attended the West Park School District. School officials say they will be providing grief counseling for students and staff. The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral and medical expenses. You can find a link to that on our website, www.abc30.com. In Fresno County, Jessica Harrington, ABC 30 Action News.