'Justice for Alexis': Friends, family of 4-year-old killed in West Allis crash speak out at fundraiser
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Friends and family of Alexis Calles-Gonzalez worked to raise money Saturday, July 2, less than three weeks after the serious crash on 108th and National in West Allis.
That crash killed the 4-year-old boy and injured his mother Sandra Gonzalez and his aunt Claudia Gonzalez.
The suspected driver of the other vehicle, Thomas McIntyre, is charged with drunk driving, speeding and reckless homicide. He has pleaded not guilty.
While still grieving, the family and friends of the victims held a fundraiser outside the Mitchell Park Domes on Saturday.
The goal was raise to money for Alexis's mother, Sandra Gonzalez, who is still recovering from her injuries.
She asked people who came through to donate to take one of Alexis's toys and keep it in their car as a reminder never to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The Gonzalez family speaks mostly Spanish, so their close friend Galdi Buschman helped provide statements to CBS 58 at the fundraiser.
"We want people to take serious drinking and driving. We don't want more people going through this," Buschman said.
In addition to helping Sandra, the fundraiser served as an emotional reminder to the community and a call to action.
"The main reason this is happening today is to ask for justice for Alexis," Buschman said.
The 4-year-old's mother and aunt who both survived the crash spoke in Spanish about their pain and grieving, begging for a change to reckless and drunk driving laws in Wisconsin.
"We want to make sure that the case is dealt with the same fairness that anyone else would be," Buschman said, "We are also joining together the cause of trying to make it harder for people with a DUI to get away with it so easily, and be driving and putting our families in danger."
All of the money raised Saturday is going directly to Sandra Gonzalez.
"Anything helps. Mom will be recovering for at least six months or so, and mentally I don't think they're ready to work," Buschman said.
While still fighting injuries, Sandra's greatest pain is the loss of her son.
"There's still a long way to recovery, and obviously their hearts. Which I don't think will ever be healed," Buschman said about Alexis's parents.
Alexis's father was not present on Saturday, as family members said he was grieving too deeply to attend.
"It's breaking the family apart, because Mom and Dad have such a hard time being in the same room with all the pain," Buschman said.
The Gonzalez family and friends are asking anyone who has been affected by similar incidents to join their fight for justice, using the hashtags #JusticeforAlexis and #StrongerTogether.
They said they'll be outside the courthouse for every hearing involving the man accused of causing the crash, and welcome others affected by drunk driving to join them.