‘He was my everything’: Mother mourns loss of son, 12, in Hwy. 97 crash that also claimed his father
(Update: Adding video, comments from boy's mother; another GoFundMe page created for injured woman)
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Oregon State Police are conducting a criminal investigation into this week's crash on Highway 97 in Klamath County that claimed the lives of a Madras man and his 12-year-old son, whose grieving mother recounted his always-happy ways during an interview Friday.
Roberto Raygoza Franco was a 12-year-old boy whose life came to an early, tragic end. Family members say he was a very happy boy, who was always smiling.
He was on his way home to his mother from a trip to California, where he visited his father's side of the family.
An OSP representative said Friday he could not provide any new information or a timeline of how long the investigation might take.
Ariana Franco helped to translate for Roberto Raygoza Franco's mother, Yenni Franco on Friday.
"I just wanted to see my son," Franco said. "He was my everything. ... I'm going to miss him a lot."
OSP troopers and other first-responders were called just after 7 p.m. Monday to the three-vehicle crash near milepost 235, north of Chiloquin.
A preliminary OSP investigation found that a commercial motor vehicle towing a fuel tank was heading south on the highway when the driver lost control and crossed into the northbound lane, striking a Chevy Suburban. Troopers said the momentum carried the commercial truck into a Dodge Ram 1500 that was parked on the side of the road.
Two of the four people in the Suburban were killed. Roberto Raygoza Rosales, 36, of Madras, died at the scene. Troopers said a male juvenile also died of injuries from the crash, which also resulted in several other injuries.
OSP did not release other information, due to the ongoing investigation, or identify the juvenile crash victim, but two GoFundMe pages established in recent days identified the boy as Roberto Raygoza Franco.
Rosale's current wife, Arely Regoza, and their son also were in the SUV; the injured woman was hospitalized after the crash, family members said. A GoFundMe page also has been created to assist her.
The boy's mother said she was initially calm after learning of the crash, because someone told her they heard her son talking afterward.
"When I spoke with somebody else and they asked me who I was -- I told him I was his mother, Roberto's mother. And that's when they told me that he was dead," she said.
“He was such a happy boy, he dreamed of being a soccer player,” wrote one GoFundMe page’s organizer, Krista Dixon. “He always had a bright smile on his face, he was so loving and caring.”
The family said Roberto was in the seventh grade and had attended Jefferson County Middle School before moving to Redmond, where he was going to Elton Gregory Middle School.
"When he was around adults, he would always speak like an adult. When he was around children, he was always a child," his mother said.
He also liked going to church and was attending his confirmation classes on Mondays.
The other fundraising page’s organizer, Esteffany Galan, said, “Roberto was a wonderful son who touched the lives of those around him. He leaves behind his lovely mother, Yenni Franco. We are all devastated by Roberto’s loss. We want to give Roberto the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes.”