(KMTR) -- Three years after a deadly crash killed four people in West Eugene
, the family of one of the victims is sharing its feelings about the news of another deadly crash at the very same intersection.
“To the families involved, to give them our support, our love and just send our condolences to them. It's hard to deal with this kind of thing,” says Eliman Gibba, father of Nima Gibba.
Nima Gibba was one of four hit and killed by a drunk driver at the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road back in January 2009.
Now the family of Nima Gibba, her father Eliman and her step-mother Alexandra are speaking out about hearing of Wednesday evening’s crash that’s left a 16-year old in jail and two people dead.
The crash killed 62-year old Richard Lee Taylor of Eugene, and 43-year old Toni Lynn Bryson of Eugene. 16-year old Emmanuel Herrara-Gutierrez is now in jail facing manslaughter and third degree assault charges in the case.
Eugene Police say Herrara-Gutierrez ran a red light at the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road on Wednesday, March 8th, 2012, hitting a truck that Taylor and Bryson were riding in. Police says Herrara-Gutierrez was attempting to outrun an Oregon State Police Trooper. 43 seconds before the crash, EPD says the trooper clocked Herrara-Gutierrez driving more than 100 miles-per-hour on Beltline Highway.
Hearing the news of the crash was enough to bring the Gibba family to tears on Wednesday.
“To the families involved, to give them our support, our love and just send our condolences to them. It's hard to deal with this kind of thing,” says Eliman Gibba.
Just more than three years ago, the Gibba’s lost 11-year old Nima when a drunk driver crashed into the car she was riding in at the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road.
Nima and three others died in the crash, including 35-year old Heather Mulgrave, 34-year old Connie Vermillyea and her 10-year old son Jaziah.
Today, the Gibba family says it is doing its best, recovering day by day.
Nima’s father Eliman says even though he lost his daughter, he says positive healing can come in time.
Eliman says what’s now happened twice at West 11th and Bertelsen should open a conversation.
“Hopefully start a conversation about speeding and driving recklessly, and also not listening. From the story, these young people had contact with other people and because of their energy; they couldn't control going too fast. So it's hard, it's also very sad,” says Eliman.
The Gibba family has taken its energy now and focused it in to creating the “Nima’s Wish Foundation,” in Nima’s honor.
Nima’s step-mom, Alexandra Sianis-Gibba says the goal is to give humanitarian aid in all elements that Nima loved including helping those less fortunate in other countries, helping animals, kids and dancers.
As one of the first big projects, the foundation is trying to help those in Gambia, Africa.
“There's a stove project that we're involved with, some agricultural work, of course sponsoring children with education, going to school,” says Alexandra.
For the stove project, the Foundation is now working with the Aprovecho Research Center, a company out of Cottage Grove. The company makes stoves that reduce toxic open-fire emissions. Many people in Africa and other third-world countries suffer from respiratory problems due to cooking with open fires. (Learn more about the stoves at the following link: http://www.aprovecho.org/lab/index.php.)
The foundation has set a date for its first major fundraiser, a benefit concert.
“We just feel that it's important that they get the opportunity and if we can help with that, that would have made Nima very happy to carry that on too,” says Alexandra.
The benefit concert is set for Thursday, May 3rd, 2012, at the McDonald Theatre. The concert will feature local musicians, guest speakers and a presentation about the foundation’s continued projects and work.
For more information on the foundation and the upcoming benefit concert, visit the Nima’s Wish Foundation website at the following link: http://www.nimaswish.com/.
Nima’s Wish Foundation also has a Facebook page at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nimas-Wish-Foundation/136950363054922?sk=wall.