RHC still mourns for college student

A week after a Rio Hondo College student, a daughter, and the woman’s fiancé were killed in an auto accident in Fontana, the campus community gathered to show the family its support with a candle light vigil allowing those gathered to pay their respect on Oct. 28.

Many of those in attendance spoke about Helen Amaya, 33, a CalWORKS, CARE, EOPS and Drug Studies student, her 4-year-old daughter Joelene, and her fiancé Shawn Scott, 33.  Their vehicle was struck from behind by a car while stopped at a red light Oct. 21.

In attendance were Amaya’s parents, Jose Amaya and Virginia Victor and her surviving children Jazmin, 13, Jenifer, 12, and David Gaitan, 5.

The CARE program last saw Helen, a resident of El Monte, Oct. 18 during a meeting for the program’s Halloween workshop, which Helen was so excited for, according to Student Trustee, Caroline Carroll.

The college found about the deaths two days after the accident and CARE, CalWORKS, EOPS, the Drug Studies program, and the Child Development Center, which Joelene was apart of, planned the vigil.  Carroll was a speaker at the event and along with her CARE peers remember Helen’s: “smile, her fun attitude,” and her encouraging sayings such as, “don’t worry about it, girl.”

The family of Helen was notified over the weekend about Monday’s vigil which resulted in a lot of the family members saying they did not expect to be speaking that night regarding the vigil.

During the candle light vigil there were donation boxes present to help the family raise the $25,000 needed for the funeral services. Money can also be donated at https://funds.gofundme.com/index.php?route=donate2/donate&url=4xbpcc  for each of the funeral expenses. Or simply by going to http://www.gofundme.com and typing Helen Amaya’s name on the upper left hand corner.

This Friday at 10 a.m. Scott’s funeral services will be held at Dickey Mortuary located at 8030 Mango Ave. in Fontana.  Helen and Joelene’s funeral services will be held Nov. 9 with more details coming soon.