After death of one sister and serious injuries to another, families ask for help

Luvette Monarque-Ramirez and her family. Photo: Courtesy

Update, June 11: A third fundraiser has now been launched, this time for the sister who was driving: “Dyani’s Ford Fiesta was also totaled in the accident. Due to the injuries Dyani sustained in this accident, and the emotional transition her and her family are experiencing at the moment, she will not be able to work and cover her own expenses.” Money raised will “help to cover rent and any other unexpected finances that have occurred.”

Original story, June 5: Family members and friends of four sisters who were on vacation in Berkeley when a Tesla driver crashed into their car, killing one woman and putting another in critical condition, have launched two fundraisers to help with expenses resulting from the tragic collision.

Police have not said much about the crash Friday night, which took place shortly before midnight when a 22-year-old San Leandro man — who had three people in his car — plowed into two moving vehicles and two parked ones at Haste and Fulton streets. The Berkeley Police Department has said speed appears to have been a factor in the crash, and that a medical condition is also under investigation as a possible contributing factor.

Luvette Monarque, 36, of North Hollywood and her sister — identified by family as 32-year-old Lissette Monarque — were in a Ford Fiesta with their two younger sisters when the Tesla driver ran into them. Luvette and Lissette were trapped in the back seat when the car caught on fire. First responders were able to extricate them, but Luvette later died at the hospital. The other two sisters were also taken to the hospital for injuries but have since been released, family friend Christina Jones told Berkeleyside on Wednesday.


As of publication time, a fundraiser for Luvette Monarque had raised about $7,100, while one for Lissette had raised about $5,400.

Luvette Monarque is survived by her husband, Erick Ramirez, and their children, 13-year-old Lorenzo and 3-year-old Donovan, said Jones. Lorenzo is graduating from junior high this week, and Donovan will turn 4 on Monday.

Jones described Luvette as “a compassionate mother an advocate / warrior for all things related to autism. A rock to her family who lived everyday for her husband and her kids.” One of the boys is diagnosed with autism and both have Marfan syndrome, Jones said. The fundraiser will help the family cover funeral expenses for Luvette and provide “one less thing to worry about while navigating this horrible loss,” Jones wrote online.

Luvette worked full time at TLC for the Blind, Jones said, an organization focused on caring for the needs of people living with developmental disabilities and blindness.

According to the fundraiser for Lissette, the LA County woman “is fighting for her life everyday. As a result of these serious injuries she will have a longterm hospital stay which includes numerous surgeries and extensive care.… While the exact costs are currently unknown, we are trying to accumulate a reasonable amount to maintain bills and expenses that she will not be able to assume on her own. This tragic accident has brought upon many life changes and challenges.”

Police have not released the name of the driver in Friday’s crash, citing department policy that prohibits the release of collision reports to people other than involved parties.

“We’re hoping they conclude their investigation soon and there’s some justice,” Jones said Wednesday.

Berkeleyside will share additional information if it becomes available.

This story was updated after publication at the request of a family member.