SACRAMENTO -- Tears flow down a 10-year-old's face, while the strength of a tight-knit family is tested. Loved ones are rocked by the untimely deaths of not one, but three family members.
"I didn't want to believe it because she and my nephews are my world, my sister was my world, she was my baby sister," said Trinidad Hernandez, the brother of Renee Villalobos.
The CHP said 31-year-old Villalobos was driving down Jackson Road Monday around 3 a.m.
In the car were two of her sons, 11-year-old James and 1-year-old Lorenzo. The CHP said Villalobos drifted into the opposing lane and hit a van head on. The driver of the van wasn't hurt, but the mom and two boys died.
Villalobos and James weren't wearing seat belts and Lorenzo's car seat wasn't buckled in, according to investigators.
The family said they've dealt with backlash because of Villalobos' decisions that morning and this is their response.
"There's a reason why somebody would be out on the street at 3 in the morning with her kids, there's a reason, unfortunately, their seat belts weren't buckled, but there's nothing we can do about that, don't shame her, don't shame my sister, you didn't know her," said Hernandez.
Villalobos' brother didn't want to go into detail about what his sister was doing, but says the criticism has to stop.
Family honored the Elk Grove mom and two children at a car wash Thursday. Villalobos leaves behind four other children. Two teenage boys and two young girls.
The family invites all friends to a viewing Friday afternoon. It will be held at Mt. Vernon Memorial Park and Mortuary from 3 to 7 p.m.
They're also asking for donations to help with funeral costs and to help Villalobos' four other children. You can donate to the family's GoFundMe page, here.