Elgin woman died on birthday getting doughnuts for 3 kids
An Elgin woman who died Monday when her car crashed into a creek was on her way to get doughnuts for her children on the morning of her birthday, a relative said.
Erika Galvan, who turned 31 Monday, lived around the corner from where the single-vehicle accident took place, near Tivoli Place and Garden Crescent Drive, said Sonia Pasillas of Chicago, Galvan's sister-in-law.
Galvan was driving a 2015 Toyota sport utility vehicle that her husband, Jose Pasillas, had given her as an early birthday present about a month ago, Sonia Pasillas said.
Elgin police responded to a call about 7:30 a.m. after the vehicle left the roadway and ended up in Tyler Creek. The Kane County coroner's office said the cause of death is under investigation.
"We don't know what happened," Sonia Pasillas said. "Maybe it was the ice," she added, referring to Monday's freezing rain that coated the suburbs.
An autopsy was performed Monday and is pending further investigation; toxicology samples were sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis, the coroner's office said.
Galvan had a big heart and a special way of endearing herself to everyone, her sister-in-law said.
"She's an exceptional woman, mother and wife," Sonia Pasillas said. "It was a blessing to have her in the family. She was just great. My brother, he literally hit the lottery (meeting her) and he knows it. Now he's devastated with this and having to raise his children."
The couple have three boys, Oscar, 7, Jose "Junior," 10, and Javier "Yiyo," 12, Sonia Pasillas said. Two boys attend Century Oaks Elementary School while one attends Kimball Middle School, all in Elgin, said Andrea Erickson, principal of Century Oaks.
"She lived for her boys," Sonia Pasillas said. "We are trying to keep up (for them), but it's hard. Everyone is taking it hard."
Galvan and Jose Pasillas met at a party in Chicago about 12 years ago, shortly after Galvan moved from Mexico in search of better opportunities, Sonia Pasillas said.
"It's your typical story. You fall in love and the rest is history," she said.
Galvan worked as a waitress at a restaurant in West Chicago while Jose Pasillas works at a nut company in Elgin, Sonia Pasillas said.
The couple celebrated Galvan's birthday Sunday at a friend's house, and then took Monday off work, planning to visit Jose Pasillas' mother later in the day with the boys, Sonia Pasillas said. "It's just surreal," she said.
The family started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. It's been heartwarming to see how many people have responded with both gestures and words of kindness, Sonia Pasillas said.
"We feel so blessed. She touched everyone's heart that way."