Neighbors near the site of , which killed a young Roseville man, will host a candlelight vigil this Sunday in remembrance of him.
Gregory De La Campa, 26, died Aug. 14 in an while walking with his wife at Main Street and Washington Boulevard. Since the tragedy, community members and family have come together to form for the man's widow and to cover funeral expenses.
Erika Wilson, one of the vigil's organizers who also created an , said she saw the whole thing happen from about 50 feet away.
"It was really a horrific scene," she said. "And I felt so bad for his wife — I never heard that blood curdling scream (before)."
De La Campa moved to Roseville about a year ago to be closer with family, Wilson said, and was proud of his recent health accomplishment of losing 220 pounds. He and his wife, who were high school sweethearts, were on a regular evening walk for exercise, when he was hit while still on the sidewalk, she said.
The suspected drunk driver who caused the tragedy, 50-year-old of Roseville, remains in the Placer County Jail without bail. Tarasuk was allegedly driving recklessly around 8 p.m. the night of the incident, tailgating and squealing his tires at Washington and Junction boulevards. He stopped at a recycling area on Washington Boulevard, across from the Placer County Fairgrounds, where police arrived and tried to stop him.
Instead of cooperating, Tarasuk is suspected to have gunned his engine and drove away, pushing a patrol car meant to block him from leaving out of the way, according to the Roseville Police Department. He then reportedly drove back onto Washington Boulevard, while police pursued, and collided with three vehicles and De La Campa, who died at the scene.
Tarasuk has been charged with several felonies including murder, two DUI charges, evading police officers and resisting an officer. There are also special allegations of him having two to three previous "strikes," a court clerk said.
Tarasuk was scheduled for an arraignment and to confirm counsel Tuesday at 1 p.m., which was continued from a hearing on Aug. 17.
"I kept thinking about it from her point of view — walking out with her husband, enjoying the nice evening weather, and next thing you know he gets hit right in front of her," said Mike Hazen president of the Los Cerritos Neighborhood Association, which organized this weekend's vigil. "It's unbelievable and that's why I really wanted to get involved.
"I kept thinking about what she's going through and to raise money so there's less for her to worry about."
At least two donations funds have been created online: a ChipIn fund created by the victim's sister, which has nearly $1,500 in donations, and a GiveForward fund created by Wilson (who has helped organize the vigil), which has raised more than $350.
"We are so touched at the quick response of Gregory's family & friends who are generously donating on his behalf," Cheryl De La Campa wrote on the donation website. "We miss him so much and he is so dear to our hearts. This money will be collected and given to his wife, Julia. In the midst of this tragedy, it is so heartwarming to read your comments and thoughts about how much Greg meant to you. He touched so many lives and was such an amazing brother, son, husband, uncle, and friend. On behalf of myself and my family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I love you my brother, and will miss you like crazy."
The vigil will be held at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Main Street, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and is open to the public. Organizers are working on putting up a wreath at the site as well.
"Help make a difference and let his wife know that the Roseville community stands behind her during this time of tragedy," a flyer for the vigil stated.
Candlelight Vigil for Gregory De La Campa
When: 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26
Where: Corner of Washington Boulevard and Main Street in Roseville
Info: See attached flyer