Calif. Parents of 3 Killed in Fiery Wrong-Way Crash on the Way Home from Birthday Celebration

Gedion and Ruth Mbatha's children — who are 3, 7 and 12 — "need as much support as possible," says their aunt, who is stepping in to raise them after their parents' death

Gideon Mbatha Mutuka, 43, and Ruth Mulisa Wambusa, 38
Photo: GoFundMe

Four people are dead, including a mother and father of three, following a fiery wrong-way crash on a California freeway.

California Highway Patrol said the crash occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when a white 2021 Volvo S60 collided with a black 2018 Volvo S90 while traveling northbound in the southbound lanes on Highway 71 in Chino Hills, according to NBC affiliate KNBC.

A 2001 Toyota and a 2008 Honda also crashed into the white Volvo, FOX affiliate KTTV reported.

The white Volvo became engulfed in flames shortly after the collision, according to ABC affiliate KABC.

Four individuals were killed in the crash. A fifth person was transported to a hospital with minor injuries, KABC reported.

Sergeant Kenneth Phillips said another CHP sergeant attempted to rescue the victims from the burning vehicle, but "was unsuccessful" in putting out some of the flames with a fire extinguisher, per the outlet.

Among the victims are Gedion and Ruth Mbatha — who leave behind children, ages 3, 7 and 12 — according to a GoFundMe campaign for the family.

Horelia Kuria, Gedion's sister, told KABC that the husband and wife had been celebrating Gedion's birthday with friends prior to the crash.

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"He was a dedicated dad, he was committed to his family and he was a caring brother and caring friend to everyone that knew him," Kuria told the outlet.

"Same goes for Ruth. Ruth went to nursing school here, she was a registered nurse," she added. "She was committed to her children."

Kuria is now caring for Gedion and Ruth's kids, according to Karla Gibson, the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign.

"Many of their family members reside in Kenya," Gibson wrote, "and those here will have the task of caring for and ensuring these children can continue to live their lives with as little interruption as possible."

Donations to the GoFundMe campaign will go toward Gideon and Ruth's funeral expenses, as well as taking care of their children.

"These children will need as much support as possible in the days, months, and years to come," Gibson wrote.

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