Editors note: This story been updated to say the crash happened in Murrieta.
SAN DIEGO — A Las Vegas family was forced to do the unimaginable, saying goodbye to their 6-year-old son in San Diego who will never make it home from their family vacation.
“The physical pain is nothing compared to the emotional pain that we’ve been going through,” said Moses Sanchez, father of Ian Sanchez.
The Sanchez family was on their way home from Mexico to Las Vegas in the early hours of Monday morning. They had made it just north of San Diego County in Murrieta when they say they hit a driver suspected to be under the influence, who had already hit at least one other car and the center median ahead of them on the freeway.
“We drove at night because the boys are asleep, it’s a calmer ride. Next thing you know this happened. It happened and our lives completely changed,” said Sanchez.
Six-year-old Ian Sanchez suffered the worst injuries, including a brain laceration and stroke. He was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital here in San Diego, but doctors were unable to control the brain hemorrhage.
On Friday, Ian’s family began the unimaginable process of declaring him brain dead, but what they plan to do after is giving them some peace.
There is also a fundraiser to help with medical bills and getting Ian home.
“Ian was such a caring kid. He loved helping others so we knew that if he was older and got to pick on his ID if you want to be an organ donor, we knew he would’ve done it,” said his mom Joceline Rodriguez.
“We would just know that the organ donation would’ve been 100% his idea because that’s just who he is. He was a loving kid,” said Sanchez.
The family says they’re finding the courage to talk about their son because they want him to always be remembered.