Angelo Pizarro lost his mother and sister in a fiery wrong-way crash Thursday on a San Diego highway involving a sports car driven by a YouTube star known as “McSkillet.”
Seeking a way to pay tribute to his mom, the 19-year-old on Saturday reached out on Twitter to her idol — wrestler and action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — for some help.
“My beautiful mom who passed away loved @TheRock so so SO much,” Angelo Pizarro wrote on Twitter, with a photo of Aileen Pizarro, 43, hugging a movie poster of the actor. “I’m trying to get him to do even a video saying her name for the funeral.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
“I thought he would be too busy to notice unless it got huge,” he told KUSI. But 45,000 retweets later, Johnson responded with a short video.
In the minute-long video, Johnson says he received “thousands and thousands” of messages on Twitter about the Pizarro family’s “devastating loss.”
“I’m sending you so much love and light and strength your way from my family to yours,” Johnson says in the video. “If your mom can hear me now, which I’m sure she can, I just want to thank her for all the love and for being such a big fan.”
“I can’t stop smiling knowing she’s smiling so much,” Angelo Pizarro responded on Twitter with a post of Johnson’s video, thanking him for the tribute.
“My mom was a huge fan, she would always take me to see his movies,” he told KUSI. “I’m mind-blown still. I know she is looking down right now and laughing.”
Aileen Pizarro, 43, and her 12-year-old daughter Aryana died in a fiery head-on collision on Interstate 805 in San Diego at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, reported KSWB.
The other vehicle, a black McLaren 650S sports car, was being driven the wrong way on the freeway by Trevor Heitmann, 18, known on YouTube as “McSkillet,” the station reported. He also died in the crash.
Heitmann, whose YouTube channel had 900,000 subscribers, gained online fame playing the video game “Counter Strike: Global Offensive,” reported KSWB.
“I want everyone not to remember the crash, the flames, don’t remember that,” Angelo Pizarro told KUSI. “Remember how selfless my mother was, how happy they made everyone around them, how full of life Aryana was.”
He also has reached out on Twitter to Alessia Cara, Aryana’s favorite singer, for a similar tribute video for his sister.
A GoFundMe account started by his brother Dominic Pizarro to help pay funeral and other expenses has raised $53,000 of its original $5,000 goal as of Monday morning.