GoFundMe set up to help with funeral costs for victims of Chicopee crash

A serious car crash near Memorial Drive in Chicopee shut down the road for nearly four hours on Friday.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - New details have emerged about Friday’s crash on Memorial Drive in Chicopee. We now know two people died when the car they were in was hit by a truck and the driver is accused of excessive speeding.

The driver of the truck, 24-year-old Demian Ward of Fort Worth, TX, faced a judge at Chicopee District Court on Monday and now, we’re learning more about what happened Friday and we hear from a family member of the two victims who tells me efforts are now underway to remember them.

We started a GoFundMe recently. We are trying to raise money for their funeral costs because they died so tragically, so we weren’t obviously financially prepared for this,” said Keanna Vazquez.

Vazquez told Western Mass News that she started a GoFundMe to help pay the funeral costs for her aunt and cousin who died Friday after a pickup truck hit the car they were in on Memorial Drive in Chicopee.

“My aunt’s name is Luis Martinez. She went by Lucy and her son, who was my cousin, his name is Rafael Martinez…They had gotten into a tragic accident on Memorial Drive. It was a speeding accident,” Vazquez explained.

Western Mass News obtained court documents that detailed the crash. Investigators noted in the report that Ward was allegedly driving a white Dodge Ram truck and was traveling south on Memorial Drive at an excessive speed. He then hit a Chevrolet Impala that Rafael Martinez was driving.

Court documents said that Ward had entered the exit driveway of a gas station where Martinez was exiting, when he pushed the Impala down the sidewalk and caused the Impala to strike a light pole. The Ram continued to push the Impala further down the sidewalk and into the travel lane. The Ram truck then continued onto the Deady Bridge before pulling onto a sidewalk and stopping.

Ward was arraigned in Chicopee District Court on Monday and currently faces charges of motor vehicle homicide and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

Now, Vazquez said that her family is hopeful to gain support from the community with the GoFundMe that was set up.

“We’re really hoping that the community can help us with this, so that we can give them the proper burial that they deserve,” Vazquez said.

In addition, Ward also has a warrant out in Texas for possession of dangerous drugs.