LITTLEROCK – Loved ones have created an online fundraiser for Esmeralda “Esme” Rangel, the 23-year-old Littlerock woman who died Thursday when the vehicle she was riding in was broadsided by a suspected drunk driver who allegedly ran a stop sign in the Sun Village area.
Those wishing to donate to Esme’s family should visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/put-esme-to-rest.
According to the fundraiser, Esme worked at Palmdale Regional Medical Center and was looking forward to the upcoming school year to further her studies. Her passing left a financial gap in her fixed income household, which includes full-time care of a brother who is blind and handicapped.
“We are asking anyone and everyone for help to put my sister to rest and help ease the heavy financial burdens that my family now faces. She deserves to be laid to rest with the utmost dignity and beauty as that is what she radiated,” according to the fundraising page, which was created on behalf of Esme’s brother, Izaa Monjaras.
Around 2:38 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, Esme was a passenger in a 2020 Hyundai Venue that was traveling northbound on 100th Street East when it was broadsided at the Avenue R intersection by a 2019 GMC Sierra that ran a stop sign and was traveling at an “unsafe rate of speed,” according to the California Highway Patrol. Esme was pronounced dead at the scene, as was the driver of the Hyundai, 26-year-old Ericka Gonzalez of Lake Los Angeles.
The GMC’s driver, 41-year-old Juan Jose Escamilla of Littlerock, sustained minor injuries in the crash, and he was arrested at the scene, according to the CHP. Escamilla was booked at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station jail at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, according to LASD inmate records. He was released on $100,000 bond the next day — at 4:49 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, inmate records show. A court date is set for Feb. 8, at 8:30 a.m., for Escamilla, according to LASD inmate records.
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