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Burbank community raises funds for families of crash victims

October 04, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian

More than $20,000 has been raised online for the families of five people who died in a fiery crash in Burbank as businesses throughout the city plan to host more fundraisers this weekend.

The single-car crash occurred about 4 a.m. Saturday near the Scott Road off-ramp of the 5 Freeway.

It appeared the vehicle was traveling south on San Fernando Boulevard at a high rate of speed when the driver apparently lost control and slammed into a concrete abutment, Burbank police said.

L.A. County coroner's officials this week identified three of the five victims as: Stephen Stoll, 23, of Burbank; Sameer Joudeh, 18, of Valley Village; and Malak Hariri, 19, no hometown given. 

The crash shocked the city as a roadside memorial grew in size this week and the City Council observed a moment of silence.

“It kind of hit our place of business kind of hard that day, and affected us through the week,” Matt Ferrato, owner of the Hollywood Way restaurant, told the Burbank Leader, adding that a number of his employees had friends among the victims. “We just wanted to do something for our employees and for the families.” 

The business, at 1333 N. Hollywood Way, will donate 20% of its earnings between 5 and 10 p.m. Saturday to be divided equally among the victims’ families.

Also on Saturday, Fosters Freeze at 201 S. Glenoaks Blvd. will host a car wash in its parking lot of which all proceeds will be donated to the families of the crash victims.

The fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Carol Coelho, an event organizer whose daughter knew all of the victims.

“Us parents, we couldn’t imagine having something like this happen -- these families need help,” Coelho said. “God forbid if it was one of ours, we would want everyone to do the same -- they’re our Burbank kids, they’re our next generation.”

Angel Greco, a tattoo artist at the Electric Pen tattoo parlor at 10757 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood, said he would also donate a portion of his Saturday proceeds to the families of the crash victims.

Annie McRae, a friend of one of the victims, planned to sell bracelets with the victims’ initials and the letters “BA,” for “Burbank Angels,” and sell them for $2 each Saturday at the shop.

Separately, loved ones of the victims are collecting donations for memorial services on crowd-funding website GoFundMe.

Meanwhile, KTLA-TV reported that the sole survivor of the crash -- 18-year-old Savannah Underwood -- was released from the hospital Thursday after suffering broken bones in her right leg and a crushed pelvis.


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