A vigil was held Wednesday night for a Temple University student who was killed along with his mother, father and brother in a crash in Connecticut over the weekend.
Daniel Contreras Francisco, 23, his brother, 29-year-old Joel E Conteras Francisco along with their mother 59-year-old Lorena Contreras Francisco Reyes were all passengers inside a GMC Terrain traveling on I-95 northbound in Stamford, Connecticut around 3 a.m. Saturday. The brothers’ father, 49-year-old Joel Francisco Contreras-Paniagua, was behind the wheel when the GMC Terrain crashed into the back of a tractor trailer during heavy traffic on I-95 north near exit 8.
Daniel, his brother, mother and father, were all killed in the crash. The driver of the tractor trailer was not hurt.
Daniel had just graduated from Temple University a day before the deadly crash. His family had been traveling to Connecticut to visit his relatives to celebrate.
Temple University held a candlelight vigil for Daniel Wednesday night at the Bell Tower on Polett Walk.
“It’s like you’re losing your best friend. You’re losing your best partner. You’re losing somebody who you wanted to grow old and talk to and have communications with forever because he was that type of person,” Frank Acosta, Daniel’s fraternity brother in the Lambda Theta Phi Latin fraternity, told NBC10.
Loved ones said Daniel planned to return to Temple to start his Masters in education in the fall and specialize in special education.
“He was an aspiring teacher and taught at local Philly schools while finishing his degree,” Gianmarco Fernandez, a friend of Daniel Francisco’s, told NBC10. “He was also an extremely dedicated member of Lambda Theta Phi who gave back to the Latin community and impoverished areas, and was a pivotal member in bringing the fraternity together. He was ‘the glue.’”