A father and teenage son killed together in a late-night car crash while leaving work in Mendon Friday were mourned Sunday by family members who said they faced an unbearable loss — and worries for their remaining loved ones, including the man’s 10-month-old daughter.
Edwin Sosa, 34, and his son, Cristian Sosa, 15, were killed in a crash that left their car submerged in Nipmuc Pond around 10:30 p.m. as they were driving from work at the Alicante Restaurant & Lounge on Route 16, officials said Sunday.
Cristian’s first day was Friday, according to a family member.
Now their family, which includes relatives in New England and Guatemala, are struggling to understand how they could have been taken in a single moment.
“The way they passed, it’s still a shock to us, and we can’t fathom the way they went. It’s very difficult for us all,” said Geiny Jardin, Sosa’s cousin, in a phone interview. “We can’t understand how this accident occurred.”
Their deaths have left a deep wound in the family, which includes Sosa’s girlfriend, Sylvia Aldana, and the couple’s baby daughter, Melody Rose Sosa. The little girl suffers from seizures and is currently hospitalized, family members said Sunday.
The couple shared their Providence home with Cristian, along with Sylvia Aldana’s two children from a prior relationship, according to Jardin, who lives in North Providence.
Jardin’s sister, Jessica Aldana of Attleboro, told the Globe in a text message that her family was heartbroken by the deaths.
“We are in a hurricane of things we need to do and still in absolute shock with the tragic death of our family members,” Aldana said.
Sosa was driving his Honda Civic at the time of the collision and his son was in the passenger seat, according to a statement from the Worcester District Attorney’s office.
Their car was struck by a Ford F-350 pickup truck towing a three-car carrier as they were pulling out of the restaurant’s parking lot. A preliminary investigation found the collision caused them to leave the roadway, strike a parked car, then roll down a 20-foot embankment into Nipmuc Pond, where their car became submerged, the statement said.
Mendon police, firefighters, and EMS crews responded to the scene, removed Sosa and his son from the vehicle, and attempted lifesaving measures on them, the statement said. They were later pronounced dead at Milford Regional Medical Center.
The driver of the Ford truck was also taken to the hospital, but did not suffer any serious injuries, the statement said.
No charges have been filed as of Sunday, according to Lindsay Corcoran, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
Joe Alves, owner of the restaurant, said in a brief phone interview Sunday that employees were still trying to work through what happened Friday night.
The restaurant was closed Saturday, and although it reopened for the Mother’s Day holiday, it would close again for the next few days, he said.
“We’re just trying to process the whole thing,” Alves said.
On Sunday, Aldana posted a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the family to cover funeral expenses and send the bodies back to Guatemala for burial.
“Edwin, Cristian you were beautiful souls who were loved and loved so dearly I pray that you knew that,” Aldana said in the posting. “No one is ever prepared for losses so huge such as this one so sudden and so drastic.”
Edwin Sosa was the “most loving and caring person,” Aldana said, and was someone who touched many lives.
Cristian was a young man “with so much left to live,” she said.
Jardin said Sosa, who arrived in the United States from Guatemala in 2008, acted as a father for Sylvia Aldana’s children. She recalled his hard work trying to bring Cristian here in August 2021.
Cristian attended school in Providence, and his father wanted him to know what it would take to succeed as an adult.
“His father wanted to teach him what we as parents want to teach our kids — to be responsible, and teach them [about] life and what’s headed their way when they become adults,” Jardin said.
It was that sense of responsibility Sosa wanted to convey to his son and why he helped Cristian get a job at the Mendon restaurant where Sosa worked as a chef, according to Jardin. She said Friday was Cristian’s first day working at the restaurant.
Sosa “was working hard to provide for them, and he wanted to teach his son that,” Jardin said.
The teen was smart and wise beyond his 15 years, she said.
“He was a sweet boy,” Jardin said, “and just charismatic and just carried himself with poise all the time.”
Sosa was known for his wide, warm smile and his way of greeting people with an embrace, she said.
His reaction to the birth of his daughter sticks out in Jardin’s memory.
“I have never seen a man be so excited to have a little girl in his life. It filled me with joy,” Jardin said. “He was a very, very bright light.”
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.