Father killed on Foster Road was up for a job

Family moved to San Antonio 6 days before fatal accident

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter, tgerber@ksat.com
Published On: Dec 03 2012 10:39:14 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 04 2012 02:50:15 AM CST

Richard Espinosa said his stepson finally got the call Monday he had been waiting four years for, but it was five days too late.

"Today at 4 p.m., they called him to go to work," Espinosa said. "They were going to hire him today."

Espinosa's 30-year-old son Jose Beltran was killed in an accident last Thursday. He and his pregnant wife and two young sons were walking on the sidewalk along Foster Road just North of I-10 when they were struck from behind by an allegedly distracted driver.

Beltran and his family had only been in San Antonio for six days. They had been living in the desert outside of Los Angeles, California. Beltran had been out of work for the past 4 years as he took care of his ailing wife and their two boys. When he did work he had to drive 45 miles to find a job. Then, the couple's rental home was placed into foreclosure essentially leaving the young family homeless.

Hoping to give his family a better life, they moved to San Antonio to live with Beltran's mother and step-father.

In the few days they had been here, Beltran had already found temporary work at a warehouse and was up for a full time job.

"They told him they paid $15.00 an hour and he a good chance," Beltran's mother Maria said.

Excited about the prospect of a new job, Beltran borrowed $20.00 from his mother and walked his family to a nearby Jack In The Box for a special meal to celebrate the good news. They had no idea it would be their last meal together.

As the family started walking the mile and half route back home, they were hit from behind by a Cadillac driven by 37-year-old Latonshia Lee-Alexander.

"They never saw the car coming," Espinosa said. "They never heard anything."

Beltran's wife Kristie Vergara called her mother-in-law Maria who made it to the scene as witnesses were trying to save his life. She saw her son take his last breath.

"I saw blood was coming, a lot of blood was coming from his mouth," Maria Beltran said.

Beltran's youngest son Eli, 3, was airlifted to University Hospital where he later died from head injuries.

On Monday, Kristie and her 4-year-old son Adrian were released from the hospital. The boy is expected to recover from multiple internal injuries. Vergara is 8 months pregnant. Doctors say the baby girl was not harmed by the injuries her mother sustained in the accident.

As they recover from the injuries and deal with the tragic loss, the family is now struggling to pay for two unexpected funerals.

"We're having a hard time, we're trying to get help. But we need people to be a little generous right now," Espinosa said.

The family has set up an account with Chase Bank to collect money to cover the funeral expenses but as of Monday afternoon only $900 had been donated.

As investigators look into claims Lee-Alexander was possibly distracted by her phone, Espinosa is trying to be forgiving.

"I know that lady didn't do it on purpose," Espinosa said. "What can I say, she didn't do it on purpose. It could have happened to me."

If you would like to donate to the funeral fund contact any San Antonio Chase Bank branch and tell them you want to make a donation to the account for Jose and Eli Beltran.

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.