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California Mom Dies in Car Crash with Her 3 Beloved Kids While Going Home after Family Dinner

Brittany Chalmers
Aug 19, 2022
12:40 P.M.
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What was intended to be a happy dinner at a restaurant turned into a devastating tragedy. When a family had not returned home by midnight, their relatives started to worry. Tragically, they were about to receive terrible news.


No loved one wants to receive the life-changing call that someone dear to them has passed away. The shock is even more unbearable when multiple lives are lost.

One California family's world turned upside down instantly because of a car accident. Grab your tissues before reading their tear-jerking story—and be encouraged to hold your loved ones a little closer.



Lisa Biakanja and her three beautiful children, Ben, 12, and twin daughters Leigh and Lucy, 14, went out for a family meal at Casa de Fruta. The kids enjoyed life and were looking forward to living it fully.

They were outgoing and had many passions that kept them busy. Leigh loved science and the Sea Cadets, while her twin Lucy spent her time outdoors raising doves and chickens. Brother Ben collected World War II memorabilia and adored his sisters.

A best friend of the twin girls, Tatiana Evanoff, couldn't make sense of the news. She revealed that a big part of her life was missing.


Mom Lisa was about to start a new job working with autistic kids, and she had personal experience in this field because her son Ben had the condition. However, all of her plans came to an abrupt end one evening.



While the family was on their way home, they were involved in a fatal car accident. Lisa's mom, Joan McIntire, was heartbroken, having lost four loved ones instantly. She shared:

"It doesn't seem real that they're actually gone, [and] not coming back. We knew something was wrong around midnight when they hadn't come back from Casa de Fruta.

She continued: "We were hoping it was car trouble. We found out this morning there were no survivors of this accident. It's just unreal to us." The incident devastated the family and their community.



A best friend of the twin girls, Tatiana Evanoff, couldn't make sense of the news. She revealed that a big part of her life was missing and asked who she would call in the future when she needed a friend to confide in.

Evanoff expressed that her friends were "taken too soon," displaying the pain she and many others were experiencing. Their passing equally shattered the children's step-grandfather. Ken McIntire said:

"It just seems you go along, and then it's like they're really not coming back, they're not going to come back, the house is going to be empty."



Joan revealed that the family had been in a good space with lots of exciting things to look forward to—so the accident seemed "like a terrible, incredible waste of kids' lives."

The children attended Carmel Middle School, and the staff provided mental health assistance for their friends who needed to grieve the sudden loss. Ted Knight, superintendent for the Carmel School District, added that everyone needed to pull together:

"Tragic news, and our hearts go out to the family and our community, and what we immediately look to do is look to see how we can support their fellow students, our staff, and our community."



On Facebook, step-grandfather Ken shared a heartfelt tribute to his lost loved ones. He expressed:

"Our hearts are broken. The kids had so much life in front of them, and Lisa was such a loving mother. We take solace in that Leigh, Lucy, and Ben all knew how much we loved them."

The San Jose Fire Station 16 also wanted to honor the family because the tragedy affected one of their own. Captain Steve Biakanja was the father who lost his three kids, who he shared with his ex-wife, Lisa.



The station hoped to raise funds for Biakanja to help with "funeral costs, counseling, meals, and various other forms of support." Their GoFundMe page stated:

"Each member of the team is considered family, and in times of need, a family must stand together."

They hoped the financial support would help to ease some of the dad's burdens. The station also encouraged people to post precious memories they shared with the kids so everyone could remember the light they brought to the world.


May the mother and her beautiful kids rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers go to their heartbroken friends and family in this devastating time.

Click here for another tragic story about a family who passed away from a car accident. An Illinois mom and her four kids were the victims, and their lives were taken too soon. However, their beautiful memory lives on forever in the hearts of those who love them.

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