A community fundraiser was held in Alpine on Sunday in honor of a UCSD student who was killed in a crash on Interstate 8 last summer, just days before her college graduation.
Angela August, 25, was killed on Interstate 8 in June 2012. For unknown reasons, August’s vehicle had rolled over and become disabled on the highway.
Shortly after that, El Cajon resident Sunny Hall crashed her car into August’s vehicle, killing August and El Centro teacher Jimmy Arevalo, 59, who had pulled over on the side of highway to help August get out of her disabled vehicle.
Investigators suspected Hall was driving under the influence of alcohol when she came upon the site of the rollover and fatally slammed into August and Arevalo. Hall would later plead not guilty to the charges filed against her in the deadly suspected DUI crash.
On Sunday, more than 10 months after the collision, dozens of people gathered at the Alpine Woman’s Club on Alpine Boulevard to remember August and raise money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
August’s mother, Dawn August, planned and attended Sunday’s fundraiser.
Dawn told NBC 7 she had been organizing the community event for months in her daughter’s honor.
“I wanted to do something positive after what happened to our family, and the loss of my daughter,” she said. “Losing her was devastating. I don't want her death to be in vain.”
Dawn says her family wanted to raise money for MADD because the organization has been endlessly supporting them since her daughter's death.
Every time she attends a court hearing for Hall, someone from MADD is in the courtroom, right by Dawn’s side. She says the organization has truly been there for her through the toughest time of her life.
“We don’t wish this on any parent. Nobody wants to bury one of their children. It’s hard – every day it’s hard,” she said. “Now we just want to take something horrible and make it into something good.”
Dawn said she's been overcome by the ongoing, genuine support from the San Diego community for her family over the past 10 months.
“It’s touching. The community, friends, family; it’s heartfelt,” she added. “I’m amazed there are so many people here for Angela [at today's fundraiser]. It’s uplifting. The whole thing has been uplifting.”
Dawn says her daughter would've been celebrating her 26th birthday this month.
For those who may have missed Sunday's fundraiser, donations are still being accepted in August’s memory for MADD's through the San Diego branch. Donations can be made out MADD and sent to the following address:
10731 Treena Street, Suite #100
San Diego, CA, 92131