A Wisconsin family is grappling with tragedy just days before Christmas as a suspected drunk driver allegedly crashed into their vehicle head-on, claiming the lives of four siblings, according to authorities.
The victims, identified by the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, include the driver, Daniel Gonzalez, 25, his brother Fabian Gonzalez, 23, and their younger sisters, Lilian Gonzalez, 14, and Daniela Gonzalez, 9. Lilian, a high school freshman with aspirations to become a teacher, and Daniela, a fourth-grader with dreams of becoming a cheerleader, were remembered by their mother, Paulina, as vibrant individuals. Daniel and Fabian, both passionate about music, worked on the same shift schedule and spent much of their days together.
In a criminal complaint, the sheriff’s office alleged that Scott Farmer, 47, drove his pickup truck the wrong way down Highway 10 in Waupaca County, crashing head-on with the SUV carrying the siblings shortly after 9 p.m. last Saturday. The Gonzalez family was just three miles from home when the tragedy occurred.
All four siblings were pronounced dead at the scene, with the first responding officer, Waupaca County Capt. Todd G. Rasmussen stated that “all were beyond lifesaving measures”, Local Fox 6 reported on Tuesday.
Scott Farmer, facing four charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, remains in custody since early Sunday morning. The complaint revealed that Farmer had four prior convictions for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and an open bottle of vodka was found near him after the crash. Farmer allegedly displayed signs of impairment, including incoherent speech, and resisted cooperation with officers.
A judge set Farmer’s bail at $750,000, despite a prosecutor’s request for $4 million, prompting criticism from the victims’ family and the community. Multiple GoFundMe pages have been established to assist the Gonzalez family with funeral expenses, with over $132,000 raised collectively.
The family plans to hold a funeral in Wisconsin before traveling to Ecuador for burials, as their mother, Paulina, is a native of Ecuador. The siblings’ stepfather, Kurt Schilling, expressed the profound impact of the loss, urging responsibility and consideration for others in the face of tragedy.