Fundraiser launched for Richmond children who died in crash

Citlalli Contreras, 13, and Jesse Contreras, 10 (Photos courtesy of Richmond College Prep)

A fundraiser has been launched to help a grieving family pay for funeral expenses after two Richmond children died in a car accident in Kern County on Saturday.

Citlalli Contreras, 13, and Jesse Contreras, 10, were “beautiful, thoughtful and caring souls” who excelled as students at Richmond College Prep, according to the fundraiser on GoFundMe that was organized by their school, Richmond College Prep (RCP). A separate GoFundMe fundraiser has also been launched for the family here.

“We are mourning their loss,” the fundraiser posted by Tana Monteiro, the RCP’s family and community engagement coordinator. “Those who knew them, knew that the siblings had a beautiful presence, loved learning and were full of inspiration and love.”

RCP has scheduled a candlelight vigil on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in front of the Maritime Building at 1014 Florida Ave. and invited the community.

“RCP is mourning the loss of two beautiful children and impeccable students,” RCP CEO Peppina Liano said in a statement posted to Facebook, adding that they are survived by their brother who is also an RCP student.

Citlalli and Jesse were among six people in an SUV involved in a rollover crash on Interstate 5 near Bakersfield Saturday morning, according to news reports. The driver lost control and the car rolled over several times, ejecting Citalli and Jesse, who the California Highway Patrol stated were not wearing seat belts. The crash is under investigation, and CHP doesn’t believe alcohol or drugs were factors, according to the East Bay Times.