Best Man Dies In Car Crash On Way To Brother's Wedding Rehearsal
A 36-year-old man died in a tragic crash while he and his wife were on their way to his brother's wedding rehearsal dinner in Agoura Hills.
Eric Stein, who would have been the best man in his brother's wedding, died at the scene of the crash that took place around 5 p.m. on July 31 along Mulholland Highway and Kanan Dume Road, ABC 7 reports. His Ford Focus collided with an L.A. County Fire Department camp crew vehicle carrying 13 female inmates from Malibu's Fire Camp 13, a camp where inmates help with fire relief efforts, according to the OC Register. The crew, which had their lights and sirens on, were on their way to Sherman Oaks to help out with a fire.
Eric and his wife Ksenia, who were newlyweds, were turning left onto Saddle Rock Ranch to get to the rehearsal dinner when the fire vehicle crashed into them. His mother, Karen Kirn, told ABC 7: "Eric was taking a left hand turn, and they passed him on the left. They grabbed his car and dragged him off to the side of the road."
His brother, Sean Stein, told ABC 7, "They slammed right into the driver's side, 6 to 8 inches of intrusion into the driver's side door."
Eric was pronounced dead at the scene, and his wife was airlifted to a hospital. Steven Sharp, a neighbor of the San Clemente couple, told NBC Los Angeles that he heard Stein's brother say that Ksenia suffered from broken ribs.
Eric's family is saying that the firefighters were negligent and didn't give Eric enough time to react. Neighbors also questioned the actions of the firefighters. Sharp asked NBC Los Angeles, "Regardless of the emergency the firemen were in, how fast do you need to go? How fast is it to being safe to where things are going to turn bad on the way?"
The L.A. County Fire Department released a statement about the crash: "The Los Angeles County Fire Department is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Eric Stein. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. The Los Angeles County Fire Department cannot comment on the accident due to ongoing investigations."
Eric and Ksenia had just been married for six months after dating for eight years, according to a GoFundMe page. Neighbors were grief-stricken about Eric's death. Sharp told NBC Los Angeles that Eric was "one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet." Eric's 81-year-old neighbor Shirley Stanley also told the TV news station that Eric would help her and her 91-year-old husband out a lot "because we're old."
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Ksenia to help with funeral and medical expenses. It has raised two times the amount of its $10,000 goal. If you'd like to donate, visit this website.