A pregnant mother and her three sons were killed in a three-vehicle wreck that occurred in thick fog Saturday near Fremont, according to authorities.
A family member identified the four who died as Maria Cristina Menjivar, 32, and sons, Julian, 10, Adrian, 8, and Angel, 7. Menjivar was also about eight months pregnant with her first daughter, according to a Gofundme page set up to help the family, which is from Schuyler.
Autopsies have been ordered, Dodge County Attorney Oliver Glass said.
The crash occurred at the entrance to Westlake Mobile Home about a half-mile west of Fremont on U.S. Highway 30.
Investigators determined that a 2002 Ford Mustang driven by Jack Ford, 16, of Fremont, was stopped on Highway 30 in the eastbound traffic lane waiting to turn left into the Westlake Mobile Home Park at 5:41 p.m. A 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by German R. Lopez Saenz, 33, crashed into the Mustang from behind.
The impact sent the pickup into the westbound traffic lane, where it collided with a 2001 Ford Taurus driven by Menjivar. She and her three sons were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a post on social media seeking help with funeral expenses, Menjivar was expecting her first daughter next month. To make a donation, go to www.gofundme.com and search for “Cristina Menjivar.”
The post also said that Menjivar is being remembered as a positive, loving and hardworking mom.
“She did anything and everything to make sure her boys had all they needed and was always there for them,” the post said. “Her boys were three sweet little boys ages 7, 8 and 10.”
Investigators said that airbags deployed on the pickup and on the Taurus. Menjivar was not wearing a seat belt. All three children were in the back seat and two of them were wearing seat belts.
Ford and his two male passengers, ages 16 and 17, were taken to the Fremont Health Medical Center and were expected to survive, according to a crash report from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. Lopez Saenz was also taken to the Fremont hospital before being transferred to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he was listed in serious condition Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
According to the crash report issued by Dodge County Sheriff Steve Hespen, alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the wreck.
A search of Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle records did not locate a driver’s license for Lopez Saenz.
Dodge County court records show that Lopez Saenz has been cited three times for driving without an operator’s license. He was fined $75 during each court appearance, the last time on Dec. 4, 2014.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Nebraska State Patrol, the Fremont Police Department, Fremont Fire and Rescue and the Fremont Rural Fire Department.
The State Patrol warned drivers of heavy fog in the area.