The crash happened just before 6 p.m. on Los Nietos Road near Norwalk Boulevard. Damian Medina, 11, was ejected from the Honda Civic being driven by the father. Medina's 13-year-old brother, Nathan, was found in the front passenger seat. He was declared dead at the scene. The crash was so forceful that it sheared the car in half.
Family members said the two brothers were best friends.
"Funny, outgoing, they were so, so loveable kids," said the boys' aunt, Daisy Estrada. "We're going to miss them."
Witnesses said the boys' 33-year-old father, identified by friends as Valentino Medina, was racing another vehicle when that driver cut him off, causing Medina to lose control and crash into a light pole. Medina suffered serious injuries and was at the hospital.
The older boy attended Los Nietos Middle School, while the younger one went to Aeolian Elementary School. They were described as nice boys who were respectful.
"It's just very tragic," said Kelly Collazo, a teacher at Aeolian Elementary. "He just had beautiful potential that was lost in Damian. He was my student in third grade. My heart weeps for the family and how this could have been avoided."
Teachers, classmates, family and friends stopped by a makeshift memorial for the boys. Some hoped the driver would talk to investigators.
"At least to come forward," Estrada said. "He will not bring them back but at least to do that."
"My only care is my kids and they're gone. Nobody can bring them back, no matter what," said the boys' mother, Marisol Alvarez.