San Diego

Mother Wakes Up in Hospital, Learns 2 Sons Didn't Survive Crash

The mother and her two sons were on their way back from Menifee where they were celebrating the younger boy's birthday

A San Diego mother woke up in the hospital following a horrific car accident to learn her two young sons did not survive. She and her family are now hoping the generosity of strangers can help give the boys a proper burial.

Elena Lemus was driving back to San Diego from Menifee Friday night where she, her two sons, and family were celebrating her son Israel’s 11th birthday.

At around 11 p.m., Lemus’s Toyota Corolla hit a truck parked on the shoulder of Interstate 15 near Pomerado Road, then collided with a box truck.

The collision killed Lemus’s sons Israel and 12-year-old Adrian, and left her hospitalized with a brain bleed and other injuries. She woke up in a hospital bed at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and learned of the tragic news.

Lemus’s sister Lidia said Israel and Adrian were the center of their mother’s world.

"She did everything to keep a smile on their faces and that's exactly how they left us,” Lidia said. “Their last moments were very, very happy."

Lemus, a single mother, worked two jobs to support her family, according to Lidia.

“We are thinking we can’t -- we won’t leave her alone to deal with this because how can a mother deal with the loss of two boys? A single mother. That’s the reason she would work so hard,” Lidia said.

A GoFundMe page says the family is raising money “to give the boys a proper funeral and help this mother in her time of need.

Lemus and her two sons were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, the CHP said.

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