Jacob Villanueva | Memorial Site for Jacob Villanueva | Source: Twitter.com/MagallonNews | Twitter.com/MinoTamara
Losing a loved one is always shocking, and parents never anticipate saying goodbye to their kids—tragically, it was a reality for a family from San Jose, California. When their son passed away, life as they knew it changed forever.
Parents hire nannies and put various other safety measures in place, hoping it is enough to keep their beloved kids safe. Often they do everything possible to protect their little ones, but tragedies somehow still occur.
One father was devastated and couldn’t comment after his son was taken from the world. The youngster was on his way to school when the unthinkable happened.
A photograph of Jacob Villanueva. | Source: Youtube.com/NBC Bay Area
He Was a Special Boy
Eight-year-old Jacob Villanueva was a shy youngster who brightened everyone’s day once he came out of his shell. He had an infectious smile and laughter that spread positivity wherever he went.
The adorable boy was described as a “very friendly” child, and Marlen Funes added: “The other little kids loved him.” The sky was the limit, and his family couldn’t wait to see his dreams become a reality.
The youngster’s backpack remained in the street as authorities conducted their investigation. A sense of sadness and devastation hung in the air as people struggled to come to terms with the i ncident.
Jacob Villanueva, de 8 años, es el menor que fue atropellado y falleció esta mañana en San José. Sus padres lo recuerdan como un niño muy alegre que amaba ir a la escuela?@SJPD investiga este caso y asegura la conductora involucrada está colaborando con ellos. @noticias14 pic.twitter.com/pFO9Ma2NF1
— Tamara Mino (@MinoTamara) September 16, 2022
A Normal Day Turned into a Nightmare
The youngster who loved dressing up as Spiderman was on his way to school accompanied by his nanny without a worry in the world. It was a typical day, and he was ready to have fun and learn new things at Castlemont Elementary in September 2022.
However, he never reached his destination. Villanueva and his caretaker had their worlds turned upside down instantly and without w arning.
Family and friends put up picture of 8-year old boy hit by a car and killed in a #SJ crosswalk on Castlemont Avenue 8:30am on the way to school. Police say his babysitter also suffered serious but non life threatening injuries. #SJPD says driver cooperating with investigation. pic.twitter.com/jT1Km3gcl2
— Robert Handa (@RHandaNBC) September 16, 2022
The Unexpected Incident
A black SUV struck Villanueva and his nanny as they made their way along the crosswalk. The collision left the youngster in critical condition while his caretaker suffered a broken leg.
She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors believed she would recover fully. Sadly, it was a different story for Villanueva.
The sweet boy passed away a few hours after he arrived at the medical facility. His parents sent him to school, never expecting it would be the last time they saw him alive. The child’s devastated father was too emotional to speak with the media.
Family and neighbors are praying and lighting candles where an 8 year old student was struck and killed earlier today in Campbell.
Family members have identified him as Jacob Villanueva. pic.twitter.com/UP6z9mB3Mn
— Stephanie Magallon (@MagallonNews) September 17, 2022
Grieving Family and Friends
The youngster’s backpack remained in the street as authorities conducted their investigation. A sense of sadness and devastation hung in the air as people struggled to come to terms with the incident.
Other parents were equally shocked by the ordeal, and many noted that it could have easily happened to their kids. Eric Reed, the father of two kids also enrolled at Castlemont Elementary, stated:
“It’s sad. He was way too young, way too young. Every day I walk and pick them up and drop them off, and I don’t let them walk home alone because of this.”
Breaking news-San Jose police say the boy who was hit by a driver in San Jose near castlemont elementary has died from injuries @kron4news pic.twitter.com/bKsPi4nKYS
— Will Tran (@KRON4WTran) September 16, 2022
Tributes for the Fallen Angel
After the ordeal, friends, family, and strangers gathered near the accident scene. Many left flowers and lit candles in honor of the fallen angel.
The little boy’s aunt, Josefina Amezcua, was in tears and struggled to understand what had happened. She expressed:
“He will always stay in my heart.”
The school’s superintendent also revealed their community was heartbroken by the news. Shelly Viramontez said: “I ask you to please hold the family in your thoughts, as they will need our entire community to hold them in our a rms.”
Preventing a Similar Tragedy
Drivers must follow the rules of the road, remaining alert so pedestrians don’t pay the price. Traffic officials must also ensure people adhere to speed limits so similar tragedies can be avoided and no more families lose loved ones.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo shared:
“There’s nothing so tragic as seeing a young light extinguished too soon. One important way to honor his loss is to remain vigilant about slowing down …”
Raising Funds for The Family
The driver of the SUV was reportedly cooperating with police, and authorities were working toward making the crosswalk area safer. Parents stated that the intersection was an accident waiting to happen and hoped that action would be taken urgently.
A GoFundMe page was created for the grieving family to give Villanueva the memorial service he deserved. By September 19, 2022, more than $38,000 had been donated to celebrate the memory of the brave youngster.
The little boy’s life was taken too soon, and his family lost a bright light. Losing a child is one of the most painful things a parent can face, and our thoughts and prayers go to the youngster’s family.
We also send our heartfelt condolences as they navigate this heartbreaking time. Rest in peace and fly high, angel!
Click here for a story about a California boy that walked across the road with his dad. The duo were best friends and did everything together—until the end.