The family of a Vista man killed in a motorcycle accident nearly two weeks ago says he was a hardworking and devoted father.
Jaime Lopez-Martinez died on April 29 after he collided with a vehicle that was changing lanes on the southbound Interstate 5, south of Poinsettia Avenue.
The driver, 27-year old Angel Vonsumpter, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence but has since been released.
Lopez-Martinez’s family spoke exclusively to NBC 7 on Monday.
"I just closed my eyes and then I opened them again and said, 'Please tell me this is a dream, please tell me this was a joke,'" Lopez-Martinez’s sister-in-law Alicia Calvillo said.
His wife, Laura, was so distraught over Jaime's death that she asked her sister to speak for her.
"He was always taking care of the family. He was always with them and all his free time was with them," Calvillo said.
Lopez-Martinez was the sole bread winner, balancing two jobs and caring for his family. He leaves behind his wife and three children.
His oldest son, 13-year old Angel, has been battling leukemia for three years.
Calvillo says Angel, a recent bone marrow transplant recipient and cancer survivor, is taking his father’s death hard.
“When he hears that we are talking about it or doing something about it, he avoids it,” Calvillo said.
Angel's former teachers at Bobier Elementary School also say they are deeply saddened by his father's death.
“When we learned that his father had passed, it just rocked our community,” Angel’s former third grade teacher, Caroline Kalve said.
Angel made up every lesson his illness forced him to miss. He recently returned to the school to tutor students.
“He has a giving spirit that wants to help others in the community. It's just inspiring,” Kalve said.
The school community has vowed the death of Lopez-Martinez is a tragedy the family won't face alone.
Bobier Elementary educators and staff have raised $1200 for Jaime's funeral expenses.
They are also donating proceeds from the sale of friendship bracelets on campus this week to the Lopez-Martinez family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up.