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Son of deceased UC Berkeley alumna dies one week after fatal accident

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MAY 28, 2012

The six-year-old son of deceased UC Berkeley alumna Milanca Lopez died Friday evening, one week after the car accident that killed his mother.

Xavier Chevez had been on life support with minor brain function since the accident, in which the car he and his mother were passengers in hit a tree near a traffic circle on California Street in Downtown Berkeley. The car was being driven by Lopez’s boyfriend and UC Berkeley graduate student Jose Lumbreras, 33, whose blood alcohol level at the time was more than twice the legal limit, according to Alameda County court documents.

Lopez was found dead at the scene, while Lumbreras and Xavier were both rushed to medical centers with serious injuries. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau confirmed Monday that Xavier died around 6:30 p.m. Friday at Children’s Hospital Oakland.

Xavier and his mother lived in student housing at University Village in Albany since Lopez began studying at UC Berkeley in 2007. Xavier walked with his mother at her commencement ceremony earlier in the month. Lopez planned to begin a master’s program for teaching at UCLA in the fall.

“Milanca and Xavier were remarkable people who against all odds were moving on to an exciting season at UCLA graduate school,” said UC Berkeley alumna Lily Pineda, in a Facebook post on the memorial page created after Milanca’s death.

Lumbreras has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving causing injury by the Alameda County district attorney.

“Xavier believed that there shouldn’t be any borders among people,” said Xavier’s father Javier Chevez, in a post on gofundme.com, where family members have set up a donation fund for Xavier’s family. “(He believed) that we should all love each other no matter what. He has left a big impact on the Berkeley community.”

Adelyn Baxter is the news editor.

MAY 29, 2012

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