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RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- He had just gotten married and became a stepfather.

A Southern California man died in a deadly collision allegedly caused by a woman who was speeding and going the wrong way on the freeway.

The woman also died in the crash. Now, family members of the victim want to know how this could have happened.



According to the family, 49-year-old Antral Thomas never had a chance.

"She was supposed to be in the east side of the freeway and she ran head-on into their car at, what I understand, 90 mph," said Alberta Whiteside, the victim's mother.

The crash happened early Saturday morning.

Investigators said 28-year-old Ava Gonzalez was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway near Gilman Springs Road in the Badlands.

She slammed head-on into Thomas, killing the 49-year-old on impact and seriously injuring his best friend, who was also in the car.

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Thomas's family said California Department of Transportation crews were working in the area and had just opened the entrance ramp.

They don't know if that may have been a factor in the deadly accident or if Gonzalez was driving under the influence.

"What exactly happened?" asked Curt Thomas, the victim's brother. "What caused her to be going so fast on wrong side of the road that impacted him, that caused him ultimately to die?"

Known for his love of the Los Angeles Chargers and trying new foods, Thomas's family said he would help anyone in need.

"He was outgoing, liked to travel, he liked to eat," said Niashia Whiteside, the victim's sister. "He was very humble, everybody loved him and he would do anything for anybody."

His family is now left grieving at a time they should be celebrating. The 49-year-old had recently gotten married and became a stepfather to two.

They say all they want is one thing.

"Answers," Niashia said. "There's a lot of questions, there's a lot of 'whys.' I just want to get to the bottom of what happened."

The California Highway Patrol said the cause of the crash is under investigation as they await the result of toxicology tests.

News Source: abc7.com

Tags: fatal crash traffic fatalities fatal crash wrong way california highway patrol speeding collision person killed car crash car accident man killed investigation crash investigations thomas’s family family said the victim’s a lot family crash involving a lamborghini woman head on into the freeway side

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Virginia State Trooper - who catfished 15-year-old - blacked out the windows of his $80,000 home before traveling to California where he murdered her mother and grandparents

The Virginia State Trooper who killed a 15-year-old girl's mother and grandparents in California on Friday after he catfished her by posing as a 17-year-old boy online had further disturbing plans for the teen. 

Austin Lee Edwards, 28, killed himself on Friday following a shootout with San Bernardino sheriff's deputies. The girl, from Riverside, California, was rescued and is in counseling for trauma, family members and police said at a news conference Wednesday. 

Edwards, a resident of North Chesterfield, Virginia, met the girl online and obtained her personal information by deceiving her with a false identity, known as 'catfishing,' police said.

Now TMZ reports that Edwards had blacked out the windows of a $80,000 home that he just purchased in rural Virginia with car tint. 

According to the TMZ report, Edwards bought the house on November 14, less than two weeks before he traveled to southern California to commit his heinous crimes. 

The home is described as a two bedroom, one bathroom, home in the town of Saltville, with a population of less than 2,000. Records show that the previous owner was an elderly woman who passed away in 2019. 

The sick pervert's new neighbors told TMZ that one of Edwards' first acts after moving into the house was to black out the windows. The house is obscured from the main road by another house that lies in front of it. 

Records show that Austin Lee Edwards purchased this home in Saltville, Virginia, 11 days before he murdered three people in southern California

According to a new TMZ report, the home's windows are blacked out with car tint making it impossible to see inside 

The home is described as a two bedroom, one bathroom, home in the town of Saltville, with a population of less than 2,000

The home comes equipped with a backyard shed, the previous owner was an elderly woman who passed away in 2019

 At some point, Austin Lee Edwards asked the girl for sexual photos and she stopped communicating with him, police said

One neighbor said that Edwards told them that he wanted to move out of Richmond to a more rural environment. Records show that Edwards previously lived in North Chesterfield, Virginia.  

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Photos published by the site show that it's impossible to see inside. While another group show Edwards at the water department where he's having utilities turned on in the home. The killer trooper is wearing a trench coat in the pictures. 

Police have been seen outside of Edwards' home since the killings, removing items but according to TMZ, no furniture has been removed. 

Meanwhile at a press conference on Wednesday, Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez said that Edwards committed suicide after he was confronted by San Bernardino Sheriff's Office deputies in Mojave Desert, reports the OC Register. 

Edwards died from a single gunshot wound. Gonzalez went on to says that investigators are still establishing for how long he has been in contact with the 15-year-old. 

At some point, Edwards asked the girl for sexual photos and she stopped communicating with him, Gonzalez said, but detectives don't yet know when that happened or whether Edwards killed her family in retaliation. 

The sheriff's office are also trying to figure out how Edwards figured out exactly where the teen lived. It's unclear whether this was the girl's first in-person encounter with Edwards or whether she was aware that he was coming to California, officials said.

Gonzalez said: This is still ongoing. This is going to be a lengthy investigation.' 

Michelle Blandin, Mark and Sharie's daughter and Brooke's sister, spoke out about the murders and warned parents to keep an eye on their children's 

Authorities are continuing to investigate the deaths of Mark Winek, 69, and Sharie Winek, 65, as well as the girl's mother, Brooke Winek, 38

DailyMail.com revealed on Tuesday that the girl's grandparents, Mark Winek, 69 and Sharie Winek, 65, as well as the girl's mother, Brooke Winek, 38, were gagged and bound by the cop predator murderer.

'Nobody could imagine this crime happening to my family, to our family, especially being one day after Thanksgiving' said Michelle Blandin, Mark and Sharie's daughter and Brooke's sister. 'He took an oath to protect, yet he failed to do so. Instead, he preyed on the most vulnerable.'

The girl is now receiving trauma counseling and police said they don't believe she was involved with the murders. The teenager, who wasn't identified, also has a sister that wasn't home at the time of the incident.

Heartbroken Blandin warned parents to be aware about their children's online activity.

'Parents, parents, know your child’s online activity, ask questions about what they’re doing and whom they are talking to. Anybody can say they’re someone else and you could be in this situation,' Blandin said.

She said that a neighbor had seen a suspicious car on the street and immediately notified the police on the day of the killings. Blandin added that the neighbor's call may save 'saved' her niece's life.

'That neighbor is a hero in our eyes.'

Blandin later added: 'For my two young nieces who are now left motherless, we hope that this community can wrap their arms around them and lift them up. They have the most difficult journey ahead as they are minors and they don’t understand everything that has happened.'

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