Two brothers in their mid-70s were leaving a donut shop in Los Angeles that they had been eating at every week for 20 years when they were both killed crossing a road.
Jose and Alfredo Linares were leaving the shop at around 5.30am on Wednesday morning – for what would be the last time – when they were hit by a car.
A third brother, Juan Linares, who was crossing the road with them was just inches away from also being hit by the car, but got away uninjured.
The three brothers, who owned a landscaping business together, had been working in the LA area for more than 30 years – living in La Puente and tending to the gardens of wealthy residents of nearby Beverlywood.
‘For me they were the best,’ Juan told ABC7. ‘They will always be in my heart because we were always together. We worked together.’
The three Linares brothers were walking over the crosswalk on Robertson Boulevard and Gibson Street when Jose and Alfredo were hit by a woman driving a Honda Civic.
Images of the car, whose driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police, show severe damage to its front, a smashed windshield and deployed airbags.
Police confirmed the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but it is unclear if they have charged her with a crime.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said when paramedics arrived at the scene of the crash Jose and Alfredo were ‘beyond medical help’.
Sergio Linares, the son of surviving brother Juan, told ABC7: ‘They weren’t married, they had no kids, they lived together, and they took care of each other.’
‘They loved what they did, they didn’t want to retire yet, they should’ve been living their life.’
Visiting Miss Donuts was part of a weekly routine in which they would get coffee and breakfast early in the morning before a day of work.
‘They’re hard-working,’ Sergio told KTLA. ‘They’re over retirement age, but they believed “We’re going to work until pretty much we can’t no more.”‘
The family started a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the costs of burying the two men – so far they have raised more than $20,000.
Sergio said he believes the crash could have been avoided, although he added that he hasn’t been given all the details of how it happened.
‘I question, “Did the light change while they were crossing?”‘ said Sergio. ‘Because they’re older, in their mid-70s. Walking is a little bit more difficult for them.’
‘It’s hard enough when one goes and we get two at on time. It’s horrible.’