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‘A fighter and our hero’: Family donates organs of infant killed in West Portal crash

A family of four with two young sons takes a selfie on a beach.
Matilde Moncada Ramos Pinto, her husband, Diego Cardoso de Oliveira, and their sons Joaquin Ramos Pinto de Oliveira, right, and Cauê Ramos Pinto de Oliveira were killed in a wrong-way crash at a bus stop in West Portal. | Source: Courtesy family of Diego Cardoso de Oliveira and Matilde Ramos Pinto

Relatives of the family of four killed in a wrong-way crash at a West Portal bus stop last weekend said that they had donated the organs of the infant to save the lives of other children.

Three-month-old Cauê Ramos Pinto de Oliveira was “a fighter and our hero,” the family said in a statement Thursday, a day after the child succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash that also killed his father, Diego Cardoso de Oliveira, 40, his mother, Matilde Moncada Ramos Pinto, 38, and his brother, 2-year-old Joaquin Ramos Pinto de Oliveira.

The family had been on the way to the zoo when the crash happened Saturday.

“Diego and Matilde were warm and loving parents who had a deep love for their beautiful children and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with their two little boys,” the family said in the statement released by the Portuguese Consulate in San Francisco. “They were also what one would call real ‘life enhancers’—the kind of people everyone loved to be around: happy, funny, kind, and always eager to make the best of what life had to offer them. The outpouring of love and grief from all over the world, which has greatly moved us, is a testament to this.”

Diego Cardoso de Oliveira and his older son died at the scene, while his wife and younger son were hospitalized with critical injuries and later died.

The family expressed their appreciation to the staff at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for their care of Cauê and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital for their care of Matilde.

Diego Cardoso de Oliveira worked at Apple, while Matilde Moncada Ramos Pinto worked with RSA Films.

The crash at Ulloa Street and Lenox Way was the deadliest in years in San Francisco, provoking an outpouring of sympathy from officials and residents alike and sparking calls for more efforts to improve road safety.

“I have no words,” Supervisor Myrna Melgar told The Standard on Wednesday. “Just think of the trauma of the community. And so we were all thinking, ‘Oh, this poor child,’ you know, now as an orphan, and now that the entire family’s gone. The entire family is just … I couldn’t stop crying Saturday night. I was still just distraught.”

Police Chief Bill Scott called the deaths horrific and heartbreaking.

The driver, identified as Mary Fong Lau, was initially booked on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, two reckless driving offenses, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving at an unsafe speed, records show. Lau was no longer in the booking system as of Wednesday and was still at the hospital for treatment, according to her attorney. Her attorney has said she is cooperating with the investigation.

Charges have yet to be filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, as it awaits toxicology results and an examination of the vehicle’s mechanics.

Scott told police commissioners on Wednesday that investigators have not yet done a toxicology report on the suspect, noting that she was still in the hospital.

“We don’t have that yet, but that investigation is still ongoing, so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of questions out there that people want to know why and how this happened.”

Michael Barba contributed reporting.
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