Crime - Sacto 911

Tovar family seeks help for widow following tragic crash

Anahi Corona-Tovar, who lost her husband and teenage daughter in a car crash April 2, appealed for financial help and justice Friday at the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento.

“The Tovar and Corona families would like to thank the California community, especially our friends and colleagues from Antelope, Roseville and Lincoln, for your prayers and acts of kindness,” said Corona-Tovar, supported by a dozen relatives in pink T-shirts emblazoned with photos of her proud husband, José Luis Tovar-Barriga, embracing his smiling 14-year-old daughter, Anahi Tovar.

“Our beloved José Luis and Anahi Tovar came to this country full of dreams and looking for the best for them, for their family and all of our community,” Corona-Tovar said in Spanish. “We are confident that the tragic occurrence through which the lives of José Luis and Anahi were lost will be thoroughly investigated and that justice will prevail. We ask that the authorities expediently determine the culpability of those responsible and that, given all of the pain this tragedy has caused, they be punished accordingly.”

Corona-Tovar’s remarks were translated into English by her lawyer, Omar Gonzalez. He said the police investigation into the crash, which came after a high-speed chase, could take anywhere from a few months to a year.

“It’s premature to speculate what type of recovery we will seek, or from whom,” Gonzalez said.

Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner said this week his office will thoroughly investigate his deputies’ pursuit of twin suspects Roman and Ruslan Glukhoy, both 19. The twins allegedly stole a white pickup truck and led authorities on a chase that reached 100 mph before they ultimately crashed into Tovar-Barriga, who was driving his daughter to a friend’s house before school.

The twins pleaded not guilty Wednesday to homicide charges.

Corona-Tovar recalled how much her late husband loved and cherished their three children, including Anahi’s 9-year-old sister, Andrea, and 7-month-old brother, Alvin. She said her family has “very limited resources and much need.”

“José Luis was our only source of income and the Tovar and Corona families, both in the United States as well as in Mexico, collectively pray that the community will continue to pray for us and find it in your hearts to financially assist us,” she said.

Carlos González Gutiérrez, the Mexican consul general in Sacramento, said the Mexican government has contributed to the family’s burial expenses and has helped José Luis Tovar-Barriga’s father, brother and sister get visas to come from Mexico for the funeral.

“We think we are living in a nightmare,” said his father, Aureliano Tovar, a peanut vendor in Uruapán, Michoacán. “He sent us money to eat every month or so – he was a very nice person who always wanted the best for me. And my grandaughter was very happy, very lively and fun.”

Those wishing to donate to help the family with funeral and living expenses can contribute to the José and Anahi Tovar Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo account #1104261837.

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