Family mourns death of Yelm man killed in Lakewood triple fatal crash
TACOMA, Wash. - A driver, who reportedly admitted to taking Xanax, smoking marijuana, and using a cellphone before a deadly crash near Lakewood that killed three people, now sits behind bars waiting for trial.
That crash has forever changed one family.
Monica Meza is heartbroken by a profound loss and said it’s been the most painful moment of her life.
Her husband 30-year-old Jaime Vidal Pelayo was killed in the terrible crash last Thursday morning.
Meza said Pelayo was a vibrant man with many goals like opening his own restaurant. He was also the sole provider for the family.
“It’s been very hard for the family,” said Ricardo Velasco, the brother-in-law of the victim. “Monica, she cannot work. She's always at home, taking care of kids. Jaime was the only guy working.”
“En este momento, pienso en mis hijos,” said Meza.
Meza says she now worries about their two children, 5-year -old Luciano and 8-year-old Santiago, who has a severe form of autism.
The family says the only word Santiago ever really says is "papa."
“It was just a good connection between Santiago and Jamie,” said Velasco.
Also killed in the crash were Sherry and Martin Rodriguez a married couple from Cowlitz County. Pelayo and Sherry were co-workers at Panda Express.
The man suspected of causing the crash is 23-year-old Montrell Red.
According to troopers, Red was swerving in and out of traffic on I-5 before slamming into Pelayo's Honda CRV.
Red told detectives he was looking at his phone when he sped up to pass another vehicle and lost control.
Red also told officers he smoked marijuana and took Xanex before he got behind the wheel.
“He doesn't care what he do. He was just driving,” said Velasco.
Pelayo's family is so overwhelmed with grief, they say they don't have any room to be angry with the suspect.
“En eso caso, fue un crimen,” said Meza.
Meza says this was a crime that could have been avoided, and that's why her husband’s death is so painful. The family hopes justice will be served.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help the family.
Red has been charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, driving without a license, and having a stolen gun and marijuana.
He is scheduled to be back in court in about two weeks. His bail has been set at $750 thousand.