Relatives issue statement for victims of San Francisco crash that killed entire family

Relatives of the family of four killed in a horrific crash on Saturday in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood have released their first statement about their loss. Meanwhile, the driver who struck the family has been released from the hospital.

The father, Diego Cardoso de Oliveira and their toddler son, Joaquim, were killed when a white Mercedes SUV plowed into them at a bus stop near the intersection of Ulloa Street and Lenox Way. The mother, Matilde, died a day later. Their infant, 3-month-old Cauê, spent days in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Sadly, San Francisco police on Wednesday announced the baby, who had been the sole survivor, succumbed to his injuries. 

Family members say the family of four was waiting for a bus on their way to the zoo. A spokesperson for relatives of the family issued a statement that in part read: "Little Cauê was a fighter and our hero; his organs were donated and will serve to save the lives of other children." 

The family killed by a driver in San Francisco's West Portal neighborhood on March 16, 2024. 

The family expressed heartfelt gratitude to the first responders, fire, police and the hospitals who cared for everyone. 

"We loved Diego, Matilde, Joaquim, and Cauê deeply and are sure the love they showed to their family and friends will serve as their legacy," the relatives' statement read. The family also expressed gratitude to the parents' employers Apple Inc. and RSA films for their help and support during a difficult time. 

The family's statement said they had no further information to share at this time and respectfully asked for privacy as they grieve. 

Mary Fong Lau, 78, who was arrested by police on Sunday, has been released from the hospital and from police custody. Her attorney said this is a difficult time for Lau and her family.

"We are thankful that the San Francisco District Attorney's Office is performing a thorough investigation of this incident," Lau's attorney Sam Geller said on Thursday. "We ask for privacy for the family at this time." 

Lau was booked Sunday on suspicion of three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter, driving the wrong way, reckless driving and driving at an unsafe speed. 

Two large memorials for the family at the scene of the crash continue to grow. Flowers, candy, cards, and stuffed animals are piling up as the community continues to grieve this tragic loss. 

A vigil grows for the family killed in the West Portal car crash in San Francisco. 

Investigators are likely determining what charges, if any, are warranted against the driver responsible. 

Lenette Thompson, a recently retired firefighter, who lives just a block from the scene shared how sorrowful the community is. She read from a card a child left. 

"This shouldn't have happened. I'm really sorry. I hope you're happy in heaven and together," it read. 

Thompson said many jumped in to help when the crash happened. 

First responders included neighbors who are nurses that performed CPR on the parents and the children. 

A vigil grows for the family killed in the West Portal car crash in San Francisco. 

"This was a really tragic event. In my humble opinion, the 78-year-old probably got the pedals mixed up. The video that was shared with the police from our block showed…really screaming down the street, really running. That’s not on purpose," Thompson said. 

Former prosecutor Michael Cardoza said while many are mourning, the investigation focuses on what happened with the driver. 

"If a crime was committed, the DA will be looking at the involuntary manslaughter to see whether it's of the caliber of a felony, which she could go to state prison or is it a misdemeanor, vehicular manslaughter," Cardoza said. "Is there something wrong with the car? Did she have a heart attack? Did she have a stroke? What happened? Did she panic? They'll also look at her driving history. None of us know that right now, but that will play an effect." 

A vigil grows for the family killed in the West Portal car crash in San Francisco.