Brandi Urena was on her way to work when her car was rear-ended at a red light

By Rachel DeSantis
July 22, 2021 10:52 AM
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brandi urena
Brandi Urena
| Credit: gofundme

A California mother of five was killed in a highway car crash this week, just days before she was set to walk down the aisle, according to local reports.

Brandi Urena, 42, was on her way to work on Monday when her vehicle was rear-ended on Highway 41 south of Fresno while she waited at a red light, the Fresno Bee and KFSN reported.

The collision involved four different vehicles, and the driver of the Honda that struck Urena was hospitalized and may face charges, California Highway Patrol, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, told the Bee.

Urena was set to marry her fiancé on July 30, and celebrate her 43rd birthday on July 25, according to a GoFundMe page.

"Now this is all taken away from us. We are completely heartbroken," the page read. "She will be missed and forever be remembered as someone who would always be there for you. Someone who will go out of her way for others. Someone who loved wholeheartedly. She was a wonderful mother who celebrated her family every chance she got."

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On Tuesday, nearly 100 family members and friends gathered at the scene of the accident to pay tribute to Urena, whom aunt Jennifer Nolan said was "very, very excited" about her upcoming wedding.

"Planning for a wedding, planning for a celebration, and life and death gets in the way. It's really unfortunate," Nolan told KFSN. "Please be present in what you are doing. Pay attention to what you are doing. Because this is unnecessary and that is hard to recover from."

Longtime friend Melissa Taito also stressed the importance of road safety.

"[I] hope people have awareness of paying attention to the road when they are driving," she told the Bee. "We're going to put something in her name because people need to be aware where they need to pay attention and stop traveling at high speeds."

Urena reportedly worked at United Health, and was a baker, too, who owned a business called Snowflake Cakes, her mother Carelyn Contreras told the Bee.

"We're all here to celebrate her in any way we can," Contreras said. "It doesn't feel like it's really happening."