Families of crash victims brought together by loss

AURORA - On March 24, Aurora police say a drunk driver sped through a red light and killed a 17-year-old. The family of Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino met with another local family who went through an eerily similar loss also on March 24, 29 years ago.

The family of Juan Carlos says he was just a boy, but he had hopes and dreams of giving his family a better life. He wanted to own a mechanic shop and use the money to take care of his family.

On that day in March just after midnight, police say Juan Carlos was struck by a driver and died on impact. His family says they don't want to believe he is gone.

"We have found the strength through our family and through the community and their kindness" Juan Carlos' father Sergio Dominguez said.

None of the gifts the family received were as powerful as the one that came from complete strangers on Tuesday afternoon when Linda and Andy Lattanzi arrived.

The Lattanzis know exactly what the Dominguez-Palomino family is going through. On March 24, 1985, Andy's daughter and Linda's step-daughter, Ellen, was hit and killed by a drunk driver who ran a red light. It was almost exactly the same situation as Juan Carlos. The Lattanzis wanted the family to know they feel their pain and they're there for them if they need them. They wanted to offer even the slightest bit of comfort.

"It's a great relief to know someone else has gone through the same thing and understands where our pain is coming from and to just be there for us speaks wonders," Juan Carlos' mother Blanca Palomino said.

The two families exchanged many hugs and words of encouragement, but perhaps the most powerful message of all was one of kindness from complete strangers who stopped by to show they care.

"There's no words to explain how happy we are that someone has gone through the same thing and took the time to meet us and show us support," Blanca said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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