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Family prepares to lay 5-year-old killed in DUI crash to rest

Mother faces arraignment as her 3-year-old daughter is in critical condition.

SAN DIEGO — A family is reeling after a car crash on July 14 killed a 5-year-old little girl. 

Her mom, 27-year-old Kapri Coleman, is now charged with a felony DUI for the crash that also seriously hurt her 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. 

Coleman was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on July 16 at the North County Courthouse, however, she couldn’t appear in court for medical reasons and the arraignment was rescheduled.    

This family may look familiar because News 8 viewers pitched in to help them after they lost everything they owned in an RV fire. 

The family has a permanent home now but they're devastated at the loss of their baby girl Kesha, who died hours after the family celebrated her fifth birthday.

Derrick Palacio is Kapri Coleman's step-dad and Kesha's grandfather. 

He said the moment he found out about the accident was one of the worst moments of his life. 

"Oh my God... there's no way to explain the feelings that I felt when they told me Kesha was gone. It was like being hit on the head with a sledgehammer. I took my grandbabies to Chuck-E-Cheese on July 12 and this weekend, we were supposed to be going to Water World. I got their tutu's and their bathing suits and stuff already," Palacio said.

Palacio said July 14 will be a day he never forgets. 

"I woke up at 2 or 3 in the morning because our phones had been going off. I wanted help for my daughter because she was going down the wrong path. But this isn't the way I wanted for her. I thought that we could do it together as a family," he said.

CHP said Kapri Coleman was driving under the influence just before 2:30 a.m. on July 14 with her small children: 1-year-old Knowledge, 3-year-old Keymaih and 5-year-old Kesha. 

Knowledge was found still in his car seat. Keymaih and Kesha were thrown from the car in the crash and Kesha was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"I was just so hurt because I'll never see my baby again," said Palacio. "She won't have a chance for her grandfather to come see her at the father daughter dance or graduation." 

He beams with pride as he remembers who Kesha was and says even at the age of five she was so smart. 

"Oh my God, Kesha was so outgoing. She was very vibrant and a people person," said Palacio. "You wake up with someone every morning for 5 years. Come on now. That's a part of me missing. Snatched away."

As this family grieves, they're praying that Keymaih, who's in a coma, will be able to recover as they try to wrap their heads around how to move forward. 

"I have to explain to her why her sister's no longer around. And her mom, ya know."

Palacio said he's committed to loving and healing together as a family as they all rely on their faith. 

"You can't forget, but if you can't forgive them, how can the Lord forgive you? Even though we lost one, we still have each other. So we just have to try to stick together as best we can."

The family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for Kesha's final arrangements and Knowledge and Keymaih's medical bills. 

To donate, click here.

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