Holiday heartbreak: Mother recalls son killed in Christmas Day crash

Mother recalls son killed in Christmas Day crash. (WPEC)

What should have been a happy Christmas Day turned into a living nightmare for Maria Valladares.

Her son, Issac Santillan, died in a car crash Christmas morning, which was on his 9th birthday.

Nearly 30 hours before, Issac’s family threw a pre-birthday party for him.

“He was so happy that day,” recalled Maria Valladares. “You couldn’t help but fall in love with him as soon as he gave you his smile,” said Maria.

The boy with the contagious smile enjoyed lots of cake, and opened dozens of presents with his family at Maria’s mom house in Fort Pierce, Saturday, December 23.

It was the last time Maria saw her firstborn alive.

Maria’s daughter and Issac’s 6-year-old sister, Alani, was also in the car, early Monday morning.

She was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach in critical condition.

Maria said her Alani has a broken leg, a broken arm, and a bruised eye.

She is lucky to be alive and will be home Thursday.

Maria tells CBS12 her two children were always together.

“They’re bond if you ask anybody it’s beautiful it’s pure, it’s something that you know can’t be fake,” explained Maria.

Besides planning a funeral, Maria said the most difficult part of this grieving process will be the moment she tells Alani her big brother, Issac, is now a guardian angel in Heaven.

The tragedy brought the community together to help the grieving family.

Now, they are being forced to plan a funeral.

“I didn’t think anybody was going to offer so much help and support, I’m so thankful,” said Maria.

Sunrise County Pre-School in Fort Pierce is collecting donations for Issac’s funeral. That was his after school care facility.

The address is 2706 Sunrise Blvd. Fort Pierce, FL 34982. Or call 772-489-9748.

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