Online fundraiser raises thousands for family of 4-year-old killed in car fire

2014-07-19T20:00:00Z 2014-07-21T06:12:04Z Online fundraiser raises thousands for family of 4-year-old killed in car fireGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
July 19, 2014 8:00 pm  • 

An online fundraiser for a Billings family who lost their 4-year-old daughter, Zaria Rey Santos, in a car fire earlier this month is roughly halfway to reaching its $20,000 goal. 

As of Saturday afternoon, the Santos Family GoFundMe campaign had raised $9,260 — $10,740 shy of its goal. 

According to the site, the money trickled in over a span of eight days, with donations coming from 152 people. That's about $1,100 a day.

The page has been shared more than 1,500 times on Facebook.

People who wish to contribute to the fund can do so by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/bdesbw.

Donations also can be made to the Santos Family Memorial at Stockman Bank or the First Interstate Bank. 

On the day of the incident, Zaria was riding in a car with her mother, Shalom Santos, and three others on a trip to Oregon with another family in a separate car. The people in the second car told the first car by radio that they could see gas leaking from the Santos car. Seconds after the car stopped on Interstate 90 near Big Timber, it erupted into flames.

The other four riders in the car survived, but Zaria died.

The circumstances of the event has sent shockwaves throughout the community, triggering a shower of support.

On Saturday, a benefit was held for the family at American Legion Hall, 1540 Broadwater Ave. 

Jackee Taylor described it beforehand as "a collective effort by the friends of the Santos family.”

The event's Facebook page shows 281 possible attendees, and posts on the event's page show an outpouring of community support.

“So many people knew Shalom and so many people knew her daughter,” Taylor told The Gazette before the event. “We’re just trying as friends and family and community to keep the Santos family together right now.”

Taylor said support of the family has been overwhelming.

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