The Death of a Father in a Fiery Crash Left His Family in the Hospital Needing Help

The Delgado Family

Angelica, Gilberto, Jose, and Gil Delgado

Last Friday, a Eureka family headed out on a special vacation to Disneyland. Then, a fiery crash near Willits ended their plans and killed the father 44-year-old Gilberto Delgado. Friends and family are trying to raise money to help the survivors.

“These are the hardest working people,” explained Danny Ferguson, a local architect who, with her husband, runs Discovery Design where Gilberto Delgado was employed. “All our customers love him,” she said through tears. “His kids are just so good….Angelica wants to be a pediatrician…José [a son who wasn’t in the vehicle] works seven days a week and goes to school…Gil is the manager for Rita’s.”

Delgado, his wife, Rosa, their daughter Angelica, their son Gil and his daughter 1-year-old Natalie, as well as a family friend, 7-year-old Jacob Clifford had been driving southbound in their Dodge pickup when another vehicle headed northbound on Hwy 101 crossed over the yellow lines and smashed into them.

Fiery Car crash

The two vehicles were swallowed by fire. [Photo provided by a reader]

Both vehicles caught fire. Both drivers were trapped and died. The three adult passengers–Rosa, Gil and Angelica—all had major injuries. The two little ones, while not badly hurt, were too small to escape. Fortunately, a passing motorist came to their rescue and pulled all of the family out of the car except Gilberto Delgado before the entire car was engulfed with flames.

Rosa, Gil and Angelica face long recoveries. They won’t be able to return to their jobs at Rita’s restaurant in Eureka for awhile. (Angelica also works at Kohl’s along with her brother Jose.)

“None of them are probably going to be able to work for six months,” Ferguson who is Angelica’s godparent worried. “They’ll lose their income during this time.”

Coworkers are trying to raise money to help them. Today, a car wash will be held on 5th Street in Eureka near Rita’s. Both Kohl’s and Rita’s employees will be there to work. The event starts at noon and will go “as long as people want their car washed,” said Ferguson. Donations for the family will be accepted.

The Delgado family

Jose, Angelica, Rosa, Gilberto, and Gil

If you would like to donate online to help the family, a GoFundMe site has been set up to help with expenses.

Danny Ferguson said the family needs money to help with a number of things. “We need to make sure there is a wheelchair ramp for when Gil comes home,” she worried. Medical expenses, no income, and the need to pay for school all loom ahead of the survivors.

Rosa and Gilberto Delgado

Rosa and Gilberto Delgado [Photo from the GoFundMe page]

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  • Is there an address I can send a check to? I don’t do Go Fund Me donations. If I can send a check, who should I make it out to? So sad for this family.

    • Danny Ferguson

      You can make it out and send a check to Danny Ferguson. 607 Stone Lane Trinidad CA 95570. I will get any money received to the family directly. Thank you for your support.

      • Thanks, Danny. I will send a check along. I live in Willits and am so sad this accident happened. So grateful for the good samaritan who rescued most of the family. So sorry the father didn’t make it.

      • Am agree with this method so as to get all the money to the family. GoFundMe is a great way to crowd fund but if there is a way to go around them then that is good too.

    • Both Catholic churches in Eureka will collect donations for the family at all masses June 4.

  • Thank you for posting how to help the family who are left dealing with this tragedy. My deepest sympathies and condolences to his loved ones.

  • So frickin sad .I hope the famlily heals up ,and can go on with there lives,so sorry for the family loss RIP .It seems I have been writing RIP way to often.

  • Thanks for the direct donation contact. I also don’t do GoFundMe and they take at least 10% of all monies raised. This is a very sad situation. Very few families would be financially able to afford so much disaster all at once. I hope no one forgets this will be an on-going struggle for this family for many many months.

  • Just want to be sure Danny Ferguson is the real deal before sending check – can anyone else vouch for his trustworthiness? – no offense meant, just cautious.

    • I don’t know Danny personally but she is an architect who along with her husband runs Discovery Design:

    • I appreciate your concern. I am a very active member of my community in Trinidad. I have been a board member of the Trinidad School Education Foundation for eight years. Also my family has owned Hole in the Wall in Arcata for over 30 years. Donations can be brought there as well. Thank you to everyone for your support in this tragic time.

    • Danny and her husband are the real deal. We were their customers about 4 1/2 years ago for a bathroom remodel. They also very much valued Gilberto; he and Karl had a rhythm to be admired when working together. Gilberto was such a nice man and was so hardworking. We are truly saddened by this news and we are wishing peace and healing for Gilberto’s family and for Danny and Karl too.

    • I work with Danny as her draftswoman and have also been friends with her for several years. The Delgado family is very lucky to have her in their corner and I can vouch for Danny’s honesty and loyalty.

  • Went at noon. No one there. Rita’s on 5th on Monday?

    • I’m trying to find the car wash too…

    • Danny Ferguson

      For unknown reasons the car wash was not able to happen today. We will let you know when and where it will be rescheduled. Sorry for this and thank you for concern and support.

  • Jacques Beaupre

    The Ferguson’s are for real. Very nice and honest hard working community members.

  • Veterans friend


    If we had it, much of this family’s financial troubles would not exist.

  • I have Medicare and it is no panacea. Lots of doctors won’t take it because reimbursement is so low and it still leaves lots not covered. Not to mention I paid a specific tax on it for decades and the news is still full of stories about it going broke. Private insurance when I had it was much better and in the end more cost efficient and was nowhere so limited.

    Besides there are lots of non medical costs such as travel for family or non prescription items. This family needs another vehicle and has lost income to cover.

  • This is so devastating to hear. I also work with Discovery Design and was blessed to have known Gilberto. He was such a dedicated, selfless, loyal, and hardworking family man. The loss to his family and friends is unimaginable.

    The last time I saw him he gently scold me to get new tires. I assured him that I had an appointment the next day, but he was concerned enough to also mention it to Danny. I was really touched by his concern for my safety.

    It was a true blessing to have known Gilberto and I can only imagine how many lives he has touched and how wonderful his family must be. He loved them so much. They are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope they don’t hesitate to lean on their community in these very difficult times.

  • I pray for God to keep a hand on this family for their pain and loss runs very deep. I am so sorry for the loss of such a nice person..

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