Fil-Am mom dies in fiery SF Bay Area car crash

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Candles were all aglow Monday night in memory of three victims of a fatal car crash in San Jose, CA.

Family and friends also gathered to sign cards leaving messages of sadness and grief.

All are still in shock that 34-year-old Gilbert Gonzalez, his 31-year-old Filipino-American wife Bethel, and their 36-year-old friend Jorge Godinez are dead.

“They were loved by a lot of people and they touched so many lives,” said Bethel’s cousin Jensine Pineda. “It feels so unreal. It’s hard to believe right now and I just think I’m just going to see them later on but it’s hard on all of us.”

According to the California Highway Patrol, just before 2 a.m. on Sunday their vehicle went off the roadway on U.S. Highway 101 for an unknown reason and crashed into two trees.

Arriving officers found the vehicle engulfed in flames.

According to family members, the three friends were coming home from a party in Sunnyvale.

All three died at the scene.

“Every day, every time I saw her she always kissed me,” said Pineda. “She always said “I love you”. She was my sister. She wasn’t just a cousin to me. Gilbert wasn’t just my cousin-in-law. He was my brother.”

About a hundred people gathered at the home of Gilbert and Bethel Gonzales in San Jose, CA to mourn their passing.

Family members told Balitang America that Gilbert was nicknamed “Raging Squirrel” for being the life of the party and his wife Bethel shared the same fun-loving spirit.

And though it is a time of mourning, they also honored their lives through music and firecrackers.

“[Gilbert] was always filled with laughter,” said Pineda. “He made everyone laugh. He brought so much joy to the room. I miss them so much.”

The couple is survived by their four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son and funeral arrangements are still in the process of being made.

An online memorial was created to help pay for the burial services for the three victims.

If you would like to contribute to the memorial fund for the Gonzalez children you can click on the following link.

The Makayla & Branden Gonzales Fund

You can contact Rommel Conclara at and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.


2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    3 February 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Drink more … Think less … hikk .. hjik .. $^%&^^&^& …hik .. . Cheeeeerrrrsss NE Patriot

    • FlipStar
      4 February 2015 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      They already ruled out alcohol was involved. You’re a moron that needs to stop jumping to conclusions.