A young married couple on their way home from celebrating the wife’s 23rd birthday were among three killed in a head-on crash in Beach Park early Saturday morning.
Jose Barrera, 24, and Marilis Barrera, 23, both of Waukegan, and David Martinez, 71, of Beach Park, died following the crash, according to Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Beach Park Fire Department responded around 4:45 a.m. Saturday to Green Bay Road and Blanchard Road for a report of a two-vehicle crash with injuries.
Sheriff’s deputies found a 2013 Honda Civic and 2008 Nissan Altima with heavy damage, according to Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.
The Nissan, driven by Jose Barrera, was traveling northbound on Green Bay Road just south of Blanchard Road. For an unknown reason, the Nissan crossed the center line into the southbound lane of traffic, Covelli said.
The Nissan struck the southbound Honda, driven by Martinez, head-on causing heavy damage to both vehicles.
Both drivers and Jose Barrera’s wife, Marilis Barrera, who was in the passenger seat of the Nissan, were transported to hospitals in Waukegan and Libertyville and pronounced dead, Covelli said. There were no other occupants in either vehicle.
“My great-nephew Tony and his beautiful wife Marilis were coming back from celebrating her 23rd birthday when the unimaginable happened. A terrible head on collision and they both perished,” relative Cristina Hayes said in a GoFundMe post, which has raised almost $9,000 in a day.
“I know no amount of words can help comfort their parents pain in this difficult time but I hope that by coming together, WE can alleviate the financial burden. Thank you helping my family on their worst day of their life,” Hayes added.
Sheriff’s Traffic Crash Investigators and the Lake County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene. An autopsy performed on Monday confirmed all three died from multiple injuries due to blunt force trauma, Cooper said.
“We have been in close contact with each of the families and our deepest condolences go out to them during this difficult time. This is truly a tragedy,” Cooper said.
Toxicology results are pending and the crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit and the Lake County Coroner’s Office.