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‘Outpouring of support’ helps family who lost food truck business in I-64 crash

Posted at 11:21 PM, Sep 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-08 20:04:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. – A fundraiser was held for the mother and son who lost their business after their food truck crashed on I-64 last month.

Kristina Melendez-Thompson, along with her son DeMario, operate the Ita's Food Truck.

Melendez-Thompson said she was driving the food truck to an event in Henrico County in August when she ran off the road near the merger with I-64 and Route 288.

"I felt the truck go up in the air and came back down -- and hit the ground. It bounced like a basketball," Melendez-Thompson remembered. "When it first bounced on the ground I felt the glass just go everywhere, It looked like snow coming into my face."

Miraculously, the 41-year-old survived the crash with just a few scrapes and bruises. She walked with a limp because of a gash on her right calf she suffered as the food truck flipped in the air.

Ita's Food Truck

Ita's Food Truck

'When someone is down, you want to help' 

In order to help the family, other food truck owners came together to raise money to help her rebuild their business with a fundraiser at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

"We try to treat each other like family, and when someone is down, you want to help them get them back on their feet,” Hardywood Craft Park’s Layla Collier said. “And that's really what today is all about."

Melendez-Thompson said the event was awesome.

“I hope it's really beneficial for all the other food trucks, too,"  Melendez-Thompson said. "But I feel like the outpouring of support we've received today has been nothing but wonderful, nothing but positive."

Additionally, a family friend created a GoFundMe to help get the business back on the road.