Couple Who Were Planning Summer Wedding Killed by Driver in Chase: 'They Both Loved Each Other So Much'

Instead of preparing for a wedding, the families of Aaron McDonald and Irene Jaramillo plan to "honor their love by laying them to rest together"

Aaron McDonald and Irene Jaramillo
Aaron McDonald and Irene Jaramillo. Photo: GoFundMe

A couple in the midst of planning their summer wedding were killed in California early Saturday morning after their car was struck during a police chase.

Aaron McDonald, 31, and Irene Jaramillo, 30, were on their way home from a party when their vehicle was hit by a suspected DUI driver, reported KACB. According to a GoFundMe created for their families, the party was a celebration of Jaramillo's birthday.

In a statement, the Rialto Police Department said that a suspect entered city limits just before 1 a.m. after eluding officers from a nearby town. Officers "attempted to conduct a traffic stop…however, the suspect failed to yield and a pursuit ensued," they said.

In the midst of the chase, the suspect ran a red light and then collided with McDonald and Jaramillo's vehicle, police said. The suspect's car then crashed into a nearby home, although no one inside was injured.

Following the crash, both McDonald and Jaramillo were transported to a local hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries, police said.

The suspect, identified by police as 24-year-old Alejandro Canchola of San Bernardino, was transported to a local hospital and "treated for moderate injuries," authorities said. Jail records show he has since been arrested and faces a murder charge. PEOPLE could not identify an attorney who can speak to the accusations on Canchola's behalf.

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The couple were only miles away from their home when they were hit, NBC Los Angeles reported.

"It's tragic," friend Edgar Ubillus told the outlet. "They had their whole life in front of them."

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Speaking with KTLA, Jaramillo's father called the pair "a perfect couple."

"When she met Aaron, she just glowed even more," Julian Ramos shared.

Now, instead of preparing for a wedding, their families plan to "honor their love by laying them to rest together."

"Anyone who knew Irene knew what a kind and caring soul she was. Anyone who knew Aaron knew how kind and what a hard worker he was," reads a message on a GoFundMe set up to assist their families.

"They both loved each other so much and were in the works of planning a wedding for this summer," the message continued.

Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe, which has raised over $17,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, can do so here.

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