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As a parent, your top focus should always be your children’s health. You should take steps to ensure that they are protected at all times. Consequently, it is a traumatic feeling when something occurs to them and they cannot help in any way. And this family went through major difficulties.

Francisco Garate and his son Gabriel were going to play baseball in the park, and Francisco was on his way there. On the evening of Tuesday, the young boy, who was seven years old at the time, went with his father to a park in Long Beach, California, so that they could spend quality time together.

The sad incident caught them off guard as they crossed the road in the marked crosswalk.


A child taking a selfie Description automatically generated with medium confidenceGoFundMe

“We did everything right; we were walking to go play ball. Crossing the street. We were walking, and the car just took him,” recalled a heartbroken Francisco.

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A Dodge pickup truck knocked over his son at the intersection of Lakewood Boulevard and 23rd Street and caused severe injuries. The truck violated the crosswalk and the flashing light stating that pedestrians had the right of way.

While his father was carrying him, Gabriel died in an instant.

“I grabbed, held, and held him in my arms. To lose your son in such a horrible way, such a horrible way to lose a child,”


About the horrific event, Francisco Garate stated.

James Barnes, 57 years old, was the driver of the truck. He was from Desert Hot Springs. Barnes claims that he did not see the child, so he struck the child.

A child sitting at a table Description automatically generated with medium confidenceFrancisco Garate via Fox News

As a result of the painful tragedy, the family is heartbroken in their suffering. “He was just taken so abruptly,” said the man who was his father. His mother, Dawn Garate, stated, “I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye because somebody wasn’t paying attention.”

She cherished the memories of her young son and said, “He was my baby boy. He was so happy and smart. He had such a personality on him.”


Anyone with information was asked to call the Collision Investigation Detail of the Long Beach Police Department at 562-570-7355 and speak with Detective Joseph Johnson or Detective Kevin Johansen.

According to the family, the death of the cheerful 7-year-old is devastating.

Barnes remained at the site until the arrival of the police. He was taken into custody for felony vehicular manslaughter with gross carelessness but was released without punishment. There is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, even though he has been tested for both.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral and other costs.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garate family during this difficult moment. We pray that they will be able to settle their differences.

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