An injured witness said the driver behind the accident drove too fast despite the wintry conditions.
MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. – More than 24 hours after a beloved father was killed on the Maryland Interstate, his family opens up on how they deal with their loss and how they would like him to be remembered.
Ismael Bonilla Reyes, 36, of Montgomery Village, died after a car driving north on I-95 near Maryland Route 32 early Tuesday morning lost control and hit a second car, according to Maryland State Police Reyes was stuck between two cars.
Reyes was on the side of the freeway primarily because he had a minor accident with his stepson and one of his employees. As the owner of Bonilla Transportation LLC, you were on your way to work when the first crash occurred. He stopped to help with the accident and to check the damaged vehicle so his stepson could continue to work.
His employee, Melvin Portillo, who was there, remembered seeing Reyes’ back to the street. Portillo said while the roads were slippery that morning, the driver, who was in a Honda Civic, accelerated.
“The car appeared to be going 100 mph,” said a translator for Portillo. “I yelled at Ishmael to get his attention, but it was too fast, he was already dead.”
Portillo was also thrown under a pickup at the scene, but survived. He suffered bruises and a broken arm and believed he would have been killed had he not faced the road.
According to the police, the driver stayed at the scene.
Melvin Portillo, Reyes’ employee, witnessed the crash that killed his boss. He said while conditions were poor that morning, the driver who caused the accident was accelerating. State police of this driver stayed at the scene. @ wusa9 pic.twitter.com/LOUqURezb4
– Matthew Torres (@News_MTorres) January 27, 2021
Reyes leaves two stepchildren and two young daughters aged 4 and 10. His fiancée Jeaqueline Meraz would have married him last year, but due to COVID-19, they postponed the wedding date to this May, which would have marked 14 years together.
A translator for Meraz said: “He was a good father and husband and an excellent friend.”
Meraz tearfully explained to WUSA9 how she knew something was wrong when he never returned home at the time he normally would. Reyes woke up before 4 a.m. each day to drive to the warehouse and check on his staff. He usually came back a few hours later and spent time cuddling with his fiancée.
“When my daughter touched me, I thought it was him,” Meraz said through tears. “I swear I thought it was him. Then I was told he would never come back to me. I don’t know what could have happened, but all I knew at that moment was that he wouldn’t come back to me would.”
Reyes was known to be generous with his time and was always ready to help anyone who needed help. He took great care of his two little girls.
“He had so many dreams for his little girls,” said Meraz. “I hope to God that I can make these dreams come true.”
The family started a GoFundMe page to help cover support and funeral expenses. There are plans to bury Reyes in El Salvador, where he is originally from. To donate, click this link.
On the morning of January 26th around 5:15 am, our beloved Ismael, a hardworking, loving, caring father, husband and friend, died after an accident on I-95 & MD 32. We ask for your help, for the Bonilla to support family with funeral, medical bills and other tragic expenses that have come upon us.
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