Investigators in Escondido are trying to determine what caused a tragic crash that killed a father and his toddler Thursday.
Arthur Walker was the man and father of six behind the wheel of that car. His two-year-old son, Joseph, was his passenger. Walker's family says the father worked very hard to support his children and may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Family members say Arthur and little Joseph were two peas in a pod. Everywhere Arthur went, so did Joseph.
“I know Joseph was the light of his life. He was,” one family member told NBC 7.
Arthur worked late in the night as a cook and was looking for a second job.
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“He worked himself to the bone and just continued to go and go and go and he loved his family very, very much,” Arthur’s sister Nettie Walker said.
Thursday morning, a witness told the CHP, Arthur's SUV seemed to simply veer off the road on Bear Valley Parkway near Escondido. Arthur crashed into a tree, the SUV bursting into flames.
The impact killed the father and son.
“What we found out probably is that he fell asleep then swerved off the road and hit the tree,” Steve Walker, Arthur’s father said.
Walker's father and sister want to thank their community for its support, especially the witness who tried to saving Arthur and Joseph's lives moments before the SUV caught fire.
“I appreciate you risking your own life to save someone else's,” his sister said of the Good Samaritan.
Nettie said the Good Samaritan was emotional when they spoke on the phone. He told her the day he pulled Joseph out of the car was the same day his own grandson turned two.
The Walker family said strangers are offering help, even with things as little as bringing over food.
They say, during this terrible time, it's restored their faith in people and especially the Escondido community.
A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help the family.