Tragedy strikes Oregon family twice after 12-year-old dies in Cannon Beach

Family mourning the loss of a 12-year-old just months after losing three other family members. (Source: KPTV)
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:00 PM PDT
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CANNON BEACH Ore. (KPTV) - A family is going through the unimaginable loss of a 12-year-old boy -- just months after they lost three family members in another tragedy.

Oregon State Police said Rafael Jr. Nolazco Luna was a passenger in a deadly car crash on Highway 101. He lost his life less than a mile away from his home, which was so full of love.

His father said his love for his son will be eternal.

“I want him to be remembered forever, and I want to keep him in my heart forever,” Rafael Nolazco Pineda, Rafael Jr.’s father, said.

As the family grieves the sudden and tragic loss of Rafael Jr., they said they remember his loving spirit.

“He was always really happy. One thing I will always remember is he would come and he would see me and he would always give me and my kids a big hug,” Dania Nolazco, Rafael Jr.’s sister, said.

Those who knew him best describe his playful and kind nature, and said he loved good eats.

“He loved sushi. I always take him for sushi,” Rafael said.

SEE ALSO: 3 people, including child, die after tree falls on truck on Hwy 26

Oregon State Police said they responded to a two-car crash on Highway 101 on Monday just before 7 p.m. Investigators said Rafael Jr. was a passenger in a car that was making a left turn onto Sunset Boulevard. That’s when they said it was struck on the passenger side by a truck. Officials said Rafael Jr. was taken to a hospital and died from his injuries.

“I love him so much,” Rafael said.

This family is now having to mourn once again just months after losing three other family members in a severe-weather-related accident when a tree fell onto their car on Highway 26 in December.

“My brother and my nephews who I love so much,” Rafael said. “We were not even done with one tragedy, and then another one, this one. For me, my heart is completely broken, I’m destroyed right now.”

The family said the love they’ve received from their community and knowing their loved ones are all in a better place are what’s getting them through this unimaginable time.

“We have a big family and that has been a big support,” Dania said.

There’s a GoFundMe to support the family with funeral-related expenses.