AVENAL, Calif. -- A man who was set to adopt his four half-siblings after their parents died was killed himself a day before he was to pick the children up.
For unknown reasons, 25-year-old Victor Arellano hit a big rig from behind on Highway 41 outside Avenal, Calif., early Wednesday morning.
The SUV he was driving ended up in a dirt field. The California Highway Patrol determined he died of blunt force trauma on the scene.
"He was the best guy ever," said his sister, Mayra Arellano.
Mayra said her older brother helped raise her after their father moved to Mexico. Their father was murdered in 2009. Their stepmother was also murdered in Mexico earlier this year, leaving behind four young children - three girls and a boy.
After deciding to adopt their half-siblings, Mayra said Victor was supposed to pick them up at a foster care agency in East Los Angeles on Thursday.
"He was just the perfect man, a perfect brother, perfect uncle, perfect son. He was just perfect," she said.
Uncle Jorge Rodriguez said he admired Victor for being courageous, kind and proud - never taking help from anyone as he worked grueling 16-hour days. He was between shifts at different jobs when the accident happened.
"He got nothing easy. He was working hard for everything, that was his life, you know? That's how we're going to remember him, as a brave kid, 'cause he was still a kid," Rodriguez said.
The focus now is getting the four kids to Avenal, and another uncle will try to be their legal guardian.
"And we'll continue with his plan and make them possible and give them a better future and just make him proud," Mayra said.
Services for Victor will be held next week.
Man set to adopt 4 half-siblings next day killed in crash