Friends, family grieve at Tacoma vigil for 2 moms, 5 children killed in crash in Oregon

TACOMA, Wash. – A candlelight vigil was held in Tacoma Wednesday night for the seven family members killed in a car crash while driving to Las Vegas for a family vacation.

“Let’s build from tragedy,” said Louis Johnson, the father of Erika Boquet and boyfriend to Kyla Brown -- both killed in the crash.

Tragedy is what brought a couple hundred people to a park in Tacoma Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives lost in a head-on car crash Monday morning.

“It makes it hard because I want to question it, but I can’t questions this,” Johnson said of the large crowd that showed up to honor his family.

Erika Boquet, 29, of Tacoma, was behind the wheel, according to the Oregon State Police, with her three young children, along with friend Kyla Brown, 28, of Olympia, and her child and another relative. They were on their way to a family vacation in Las Vegas.

Around 10 a.m Monday, according to Oregon State Police, an oncoming SUV veered into their lane, crashing head-on into them and killing that driver and all seven people in Boquet’s car, outside of Burns, Oregon.

“That’s one thing that Kyla was, was a good mom, and that’s one thing that Erika was, too, a good mom,” said Channal Waters, a friend of Brown’s.

Family say the two women were driven to make a difference in Tacoma.

“I watched them build and grow and be great women and great kids,” said Johnson.

The impact they made on their Tacoma community is what their family say inspires them to stay strong.

“Let’s overcome anything that was holding you back, because they was doing, I’m going testify they was doing that."

Lighting candles for these lives lost served as a reminder that all lives are precious, and to cherish the moments you have together.

“I know right now I got seven people to live for. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be really hard. Take a moment to love each other,” said Johnson.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up so they can bring the family members back to Washington to bury them.

No more details about the crash have been released and the investigation is continuing.

Burns is about 140 miles west of the Idaho border.