SAN FRANCISCO – Family members and friends of Waheed Etimad are still reeling after a wrong-way driver crashed into his van early Sunday morning. Donations to help his family with funeral expenses were pouring in.
Both Waheed Etimad and the wrong-way driver, 21-year-old Kayla Wilson of San Jose, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash caused a massive pile up on the 101 north of Caesar Chavez Street in San Francisco.
Etimad and his family came to the United States after he worked as a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Etimad drove for Uber every weekend and was attending school full time.
“Waheed was a great guy a role model for most of us,” said family friend Sadat Barakzi.
The California Highway Patrol says Wilson was driving southbound in the northbound lane of the 101 near Caesar Chavez street Sunday morning. Wilson crashed into two cars before striking Etimad’s van. Nine people were injured, one of them critically.
Burial services for Etimad are scheduled to begin Tuesday. He is survived by his wife and seven children.
“We’re trying to figure out how to help them, trying to find immediate family to come here,” Barakzi said. That would mean flying them here from Afghanistan.
A GoFundMe page for Etimad’s family raised more than $99,000 in one day.
The CHP is still investigating the cause of the crash. They’re waiting for a toxicology report from the medical examiner for Kayla Wilson.
“Weather is always a factor, speed is always a factor, possible under the influence, its never a good combination,” CHP Officer Bert Diaz said.