A San Diego family is grappling with an indescribable loss as they mourn the sudden passing of their son and brother, Matthew Lara. The 31-year-old, who had relocated to Phoenix three years ago to care for his grandmother, met an untimely end in a motorcycle crash on a regular street in Phoenix on a Wednesday night.
For Matthew’s sister, Christina Ly, the pain is immeasurable. In a heartfelt interview with NBC 7, she shared poignant memories of her brother, describing his profound desire to be a good father as the most important aspect of his life. While growing up together in San Diego, their lives took different paths when Matthew made the decision to move to Phoenix, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to family responsibilities.
The tragic incident occurred as Matthew was riding his motorcycle down a seemingly ordinary street with businesses and shopping centers. He was behind a line of cars when a driver, making a left turn into one of the businesses, collided with him. Christina Ly revealed that the detectives believe Matthew passed away on impact, offering a small comfort to the grieving family—they are grateful to know he didn’t suffer.
The timing of the accident added another layer of heartbreak. Matthew was scheduled to fly to Michigan only hours after the crash to reunite with his 5-year-old son. The plan was for them to then fly together to San Diego for the holidays, creating cherished memories with Ly and their mother. Ly recounted how Matthew’s son was eagerly sharing his excitement about visiting California with classmates and teachers. Now, the family faces the daunting task of explaining the tragedy to a young child who can’t comprehend the loss of his father.
The siblings shared a close bond, having attended the San Diego School of Performing Arts together. Matthew, who had been a part of the school since sixth grade, was deeply passionate about music. Ly fondly remembered his involvement in the jazz band, his proficiency in playing the guitar and trumpet, and his stint in a mariachi band in San Diego. Matthew’s love for the outdoors was equally evident as he explored the diverse landscapes of Arizona through his hikes. Ly emphasized how he couldn’t wait to share these adventures with his son as he grew older.
As the family copes with the emotional aftermath, they find themselves confronted with the practical challenges of affording a proper burial for Matthew. Ly expressed the staggering costs associated with bringing him home and covering funeral expenses, compounded by the uncertainty of insurance payouts that could take months to materialize. Despite the financial strain, the family is resolute in their determination to give Matthew a fitting farewell.
To alleviate the financial burden, Christina Ly created a GoFundMe campaign, pouring her heart into a plea for support. In the campaign description, she shared the heartbreaking news of Matthew’s passing, highlighting the tragedy of a 31-year-old life cut short and the difficult future faced by his young son. The family hopes that the generosity of friends and family will not only help cover the funeral expenses but also provide stability for Matthew’s son in the wake of his father’s untimely death.
In her message, Ly expressed gratitude for the love, prayers, and generosity pouring in during this heartbreaking time. The GoFundMe campaign serves as a testament to the community’s ability to come together in times of tragedy and provide solace and support to those in need.
As the family navigates through this painful journey of loss, one sentiment echoes through their grief: the desire to bring Matthew home, back to the city he loved—San Diego. It’s a small comfort amid the overwhelming sorrow, a way for the family to feel close to him and honor his memory.