San Jose firefighters come together after Captain Steve Biakanja's 3 children die in tragic crash
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: Fire captain Steve Biakanja must have seen his fair share of tragedies in his service and helped prevent countless others. Yet, one fatal crash turned his whole world upside down when he lost all three of his children in an accident.
His 14-year-old twin daughters, Leigh and Lucy, and his 12-year-old son, Ben, were traveling with their mother, his ex-wife, Lisa Biakanja when their 2014 Tesla suddenly swerved into oncoming traffic on Highway 156 in Hollister. The car, which was not equipped with Tesla's autopilot feature, ended up colliding against a tractor-trailer. All three children as well as their mother died in the crash.
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San Jose firefighters, who are Biakanja's closest aides, have stood by his side during the difficult time. The Californian fire station started a GoFundMe page for their Captain, asking people for their support as Biakanja "navigates a new reality following the recent deaths of all three of his children in a terrible auto accident."
Meanwhile, reports from the California Highway Patrol confirmed that the reasons for the collision are unknown.
According to People, all three children were students of Carmel Middle School. Principal Dan Morgan condoled the demise of the young ones, confirming the news of their passing on August 14, 2022.
Further information about the deceased was shared by the Biakanja's fellow firefighters. Their message on the fundraising page mentions, "Captain Biakanja’s daughter, Leigh (14), was a Sea Cadet who enjoyed learning about science and playing softball. Her twin sister Lucy, loved animals, raising chickens and doves as a hobby. Their younger brother, Ben (12), leaves behind his collection of World War II memorabilia, an avid interest of his."
According to them, the money collected will be used "to cover the childrens’ funeral costs, as well as counseling, meals, and various other forms of support for Captain Biakanja and his wife, Thuan."
"At San Jose Fire, each member of the team is considered family, and in times of need, a family must stand together. Captain Biakanja has stood guard for his community for years, living out the department’s creed of, “For the Kids,” in service to his people. In his time of need, we ask for your assistance for his kids. With your help, we can do our best to ease the burden of this tragedy and to honor the memory of his beloved children," their message read.
So far, the memorial fundraiser for the children, "who brought so much light to so many people," has collected over $226,918 out of its $250,000 goal.