Dad & 2 Kids Die in a Car Crash After Mom & Newborn Decide to Fly Instead of Drive

The Gonzalez family poses for a photo in church.
GoFundMe

A North Carolina community was left heartbroken and stunned this week after a father and two of his young children were tragically killed in a car accident while traveling to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Miraculously, one of the three children in the car survived, as well as his wife and their newborn son, who were traveling by plane and planned to meet up once they arrived. But the sudden loss of half a young family has been a shocking blow to all those who knew and loved them.

  • Agustin Gonzalez, 36, was driving through Kentucky when his van suddenly collided with a tow truck.

    According to a GoFundMe page set up for the remaining family members, Agustin (AKA "Augie") was traveling southbound on I-65 shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 25. The father of four reportedly didn't see a tow truck, which was stopped to assist a previous crash and partially in the left lane, before colliding with it from behind. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    “An uninvolved non-injury collision had occurred ahead, and the operator of a 2018 International tow truck owned by Crossroads Towing, equipped with yellow caution emergency lights, had stopped partially in the left lane to assist the involved occupant,” Kentucky state police shared in a statement to People.

    Augie, who was a U.S. Army major, had been driving with his children Nick, 8, Noelle, 6, and Gwendolyn, 2, at the time. Sadly, both Noelle and Gwendolyn also died of their injuries, after being taken to separate hospitals. But miraculously, Nick survived, and was treated only for minor injuries. 

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  • In a decision that proved fateful, Augie's wife, Melissa, traveled by plane to the couple's Colorado home, with their infant son, Gabriel.

    It was there that military personnel and family friends came to tell her the heartbreaking news shortly after her arrival.

    On the GoFundMe page, neighbors, friends, family, and even strangers have stopped to offer messages of support and make donations to help the young family torn apart by such a sudden, unpredictable tragedy. 

    "My heart breaks for this beautiful family," wrote one person. "God, hold them in your comforting arms."

    "Dear Melissa," wrote another, speaking directly to Augie's grieving widow. "I can't stop thinking of you and Nick and what you must be going through. Lifting you and your family and friends in prayer. People are imperfect at being with people who are grieving, hard to know what to do. This tragedy has struck a cord with so many people and we all wish we could alleviate even a little of your grief."

  • As news of the tragic accident begins to make national headlines, friends and family are also sharing memories of Augie and his beautiful daughters.

    "He was like full, bright, all the time, so I used to tell my kids you should learn from Augie,” Gonzalez's neighbor Manaz Kuriyodath shared, according to People.

    Kuriyodath marveled at how hardworking and dedicated the young father was. In fact, he had just recently earned his master's degree in public policy from Duke University, and was due back in Colorado Springs where he was to await his next station on Tuesday.

    “Even he goes through all these things," Kuriyodath said. "He had school to study, like his wife is not working, a 1-month-old baby, and he still always works out, plays every evening, makes sure he has fun with the kids, so he’s a great dad, a great friend."

  • Funeral arrangements are being made, with the bodies of all three family members expected to be flown to New Jersey this week.

    In the meantime, words of encouragement, sorrow, and unwavering support continue to flood the GoFundMe page, along with donations. In just two days, the page has amassed more than $120K of its $150K goal, in hopes of helping to support Gonzalez's grieving widow, Melissa, and her two remaining children.