WOODLAND (CBS13) — The family of an 11-year-old boy killed in a car accident on Interstate 5 is remembering him.

The boy was riding in the back seat of a car that had come to a stop on the freeway due to traffic, but the California Highway Patrol says the driver behind them was unable to slow or stop.

The crash happened just north of the Yolo-Sacramento county line as the family was traveling southbound from Woodland to Natomas.

Juan Heredia, 12, is devastated to lose his best friend, his 11-year-old brother Jimmy.

“We were brothers, but we were also best friends,” he said. “We always played with each other, did everything with each other.”

Juan says Jimmy was happy, funny and creative. In fact, he won awards for his artwork and would make a point to cheer up Juan when he was said.

“Sometimes I get sad, he’d ask ‘Why are you sad?’ and starts talking to me, ‘It’s all right,’ fun days we always had, and starts making me laugh,” he said.

Juan wasn’t in the car with Jimmy, his older brother, uncle and his uncle’s wife on Interstate 5. They were stuck in traffic when the car behind them couldn’t stop or slow down.

Salvador Linares is Jimmy’s uncle but helps take care of the boys like his own.

“I wanted to see him grow up, now he’s gone,” he said. The last thing he remembers Jimmy telling him was a thank you for taking him out for pizza.

As the family processes the tragic loss, Jimmy’s memory lives on.

And while his loss can never be replaced, their mother is eight months pregnant, and Juan is trying to stay positive, looking forward to meeting his new sister.

“He was an amazing brother to me,” he said. “I hope my little sister will be just like him, so I can remember Jimmy by her.”


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