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A Los Angeles mother-of-five was out celebrating her 30th birthday and that of a relative over the weekend when authorities say she tripped and fell off a party bus onto a busy freeway, where she was fatally struck by another vehicle.
The incident took place at around 3am on Saturday at northbound 101 Freeway and Los Angeles Street in downtown LA, where 29-year-old Heather Garcia and other relatives were traveling on board a party bus.
Family members said the people on the bus were celebrating Garcia’s upcoming birthday and the birthday of a niece. The married mom would have turned 30 years old on Monday.
Just hours before the tragedy unfolded, a beaming Garcia was photographed sitting at a table in front of a birthday cake while being serenaded by a band.
This photo was taken just hours before Heather Garcia, 29, boarded a party bus to celebrate her birthday on Saturday. The outing ended with the mom-of-five falling off the bus to her death
Family said Garcia was dancing on this party bus when she tripped and slammed against the door, which opened
Garcia, pictured above with her five children, fell off thje party bus onto 101 Freeway in downtown LA
Garcia was out celebrating her upcoming 30th birthday and that of a niece when she tripped while dancing on the bus and fell against the door, which opened. A passing motorist ran over the woman, killing her
‘They went out, got the party bus and based on the information I got, she was dancing and she fell … and that was it,’ Garcia’s brother, Juan Garcia, told KCBS.
The brother said when Heather tripped, she slammed into the bus door, which opened, causing her to fall onto the roadway.
A passing car ran Garcia over and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of that vehicle stayed at the scene and waited for law enforcement officials to arrive.
‘I don’t know how the door opened. Nobody knows how the door opened,’ her brother said. ‘The door shouldn’t have opened up.’
Heather Garcia leaves behind her US Army veteran husband, Rafael Corral, and their five children, ages one, five, six, eight and 10 years old.
Corral lamented to ABC 7 Los Angeles that his wife and the other people on the bus did the responsible thing by paying for a service to take them home after a night out instead of drinking and driving, but that decision ended costing Heather her life.
‘I’ve seen some crazy, horrific things in Iraq, and to see it happen to your family… it shouldn’t have happened,’ Corral said.
The incident took place at northbound 101 Freeway and Los Angeles Street in downtown LA at 3am on Saturday
After Garcia fell off the party bus, another motorist ran the woman over, killing her
Garcia, who was married to US Army veteran Rafael Corral (pictured above) leaves their five children, ages one, five, six, eight and 10
Corral, who served in the Iraq War (left), said he never expected something so horrific to happen to a loved one. He is now left to raise their five children on his own
The widowed husband has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him pay for his wife’s funeral. As of Monday, more than $18,000 has been raised.
‘She had a huge heart always lending a hand to anyone who needed it,’ Corral, who served in Iraq, wrote in the description of a GoFundMe campaign. ‘She was a great mom always taking care of our children. She loved our kids and she lived to take care of us. She was my best friend, my rock, she kept it together for me and our kids.
‘I feel lost without her. We had so many plans and now I am left with so many questions and an extremely broken heart.’
Heather’s family are not considering pursuing legal actions in connection with her death.