The family of an 18-year-old Los Banos man killed last week in a head-on crash was described as a joyful, humble young man, who, as the youngest of six siblings, was doted upon by his family growing up.
Edgar Martinez was killed Friday in a two-car collision on Henry Miller Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“He held people very highly,” said his sister, Maggie Martinez. “He enjoyed helping people. … And anything he knew would help somebody or benefit, he was so down for it.”
She said her brother loved dancing and also enjoyed video and filmmaking, his sister said. He was active in a Christian youth group.
His family learned the impact he had on people during a candlelight vigil held Tuesday night.
More than 100 people showed up at Colorado Ball Park and walked together to the Martinez’s home in Los Banos.
“It was very emotional,” Maggie Martinez said. “My mom made it to the vigil, and it was emotional for her to see how much everybody was there sharing their love and support. They were sharing all this good stuff, about hanging out and about how they were helped by him.”
Also, over the course of the last several days, friends and supporters poured in their condolences and monetary donations for funeral expenses, the sister said.
The family also has set up a Go Fund Me account to help fund expenses at www.gofundme.com/2k9cex5w. As of Wednesday, $1,663 has been raised through the crowdfunding site.
“Edgar lost his life tragically as a result of an automobile accident … the leading cause of death among teenagers,” according to a family statement on the page. It described Martinez as “a loving son, brother, friend & just a person that made heaven on earth for anyone who knew him.”
According to the statement, Martinez graduated from Los Banos High School last spring and had just started classes at a community college to become a nurse.
Maggie Martinez said her younger brother was traveling with others back to Los Banos after picking up one of his friends and eating at a McDonalds in Santa Nella when the collision occurred.
However, Maggie Martinez said Wednesday the cause of the collision was still unknown to the family.
California Highway Patrol investigators said neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to have been factors in the collision.
According to the CHP, Edgar Martinez’s vehicle crashed head-on into a 2003 Mercedes E55 driven by 27-year-old Augustin Trillo Jr. of Los Banos. Trillo suffered unspecified minor injuries. Three of five passengers in a Honda driven by Martinez also were injured, officers reported.