The loss of four young adults, who died after their vehicle crashed into an oak tree in Templeton on June 29, has brought the community together to honor their lives.
- Photo Courtesy Of GoFundMe
- GRIEVING TOGETHER The Joebella team created a GoFundMe account to assist the families of their former coworkers Karen Montes Cabrera (left) and Shelby Biaggini (right), which were killed in a car crash.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a car was speeding on Neal Springs Road in Templeton. The car accelerated to pass the car in front of it, according to a press release, and suddenly applied the brakes. The car then careened and crashed into a large oak tree, according to the CHP.
All four passengers were wearing seatbelts, according to the press release, and one person was ejected from the back seat upon impact.
The crash is still under investigation, however officials say speed was the primary factor in the accident.
On June 30, CHP identified the four individuals in the car as 22-year-old Kegin York of Creston, who was driving, and passengers 23-year-old Shelby Biaggini of Bend, Oregon; 21-year-old Karen Montes Cabrera of Paso Robles; and 22-year-old Taylan Perez of Paso.
As of press time, a GoFundMe page for York's family had received $23,475; the page in support of Perez had garnered $8,581; a page to assist with the funeral expenses for Montes Cabrera had gained $7,105; a joint GoFundMe page created for Biaggini and Montes Cabrera had received $11,857.
Amanda Scott, Biaggini and Montes Cabrera's co-worker from Joebella Coffee Roasters in Atascadero, created the joint page.
"For most, [Montes Cabrera] and [Biagginni] were the first friendly faces they saw on their way to work in the morning," the page's descriptor reads. "They remembered your name, your drink order, and always checked in to make sure your family and friends were doing OK. They were an integral part of many people's daily lives, and through their dedication to service and community, they helped create a loving environment where people were more important than product."
Joebella Coffee Roasters owners Joseph and Isabel Gerardis told New Times that both girls had very bright futures, and the entire Joebella team was devastated by the news of the crash.
Joseph said Montes Cabrera had been working at the coffee shop since she was 18 years old and Biaggini had been employed for a year and a half before leaving for Oregon—she had just returned to the area and resumed working at Joebella.
The couple made the decision to close the coffee shop around 9 a.m. on June 30 after learning of their employees' deaths. Once news spread of the incident, Joseph said they started receiving texts from the community giving condolences, and people have left flowers outside of Joebella to honor the women.
"[Montes Cabrera] was especially loved by the community. She was always super positive, knew everybody, and got to know everyone. When Biaginni came back from Oregon, she was very outgoing and just would have been a real star," Joseph said.
CHP is encouraging any witnesses of the incident to call the local office at (805) 434-1822. Δ