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3-year-old boy passes away in car accident en route to his birthday party—rest in peace


As a parent, the wellbeing of your child is paramount, and ensuring they feel celebrated is a core part of that. However, this family endured a harrowing ordeal when what should have been a day of joy turned into a devastating nightmare.

What was intended to be a birthday celebration took a heartbreaking turn, with the family forced to plan a funeral instead. Little Josiah Toleafoa was heading to Play City, an indoor party venue in Chula Vista, San Diego, to celebrate his third birthday when disaster struck. Tragically, the toddler was hit by a car in the venue’s parking lot.

A witness described the heart-wrenching scene as Josiah’s mother cried uncontrollably while paramedics attempted to save her son’s life. Regrettably, despite their best efforts, Josiah succumbed to his injuries at Rady Children’s Hospital.

The police reported that the 36-year-old driver of the vehicle involved in the accident remained on the scene and was cooperative. According to the police department, it does not appear that drugs or alcohol played a role in the tragic event.

In the aftermath, family members set up a GoFundMe page to help with Josiah’s funeral costs. They remembered the young boy as a sweet, loving child who had a way of uniting the family. “Josiah brought the family together- his incredible smile, loving heart simply brought joy to any room. There was no time to see him do amazing things. I know he would have made a difference in the world,” wrote Tatiana Toleafoa, who identified herself as Josiah’s aunt.


Tatiana further explained the motivation behind initiating the fundraising campaign, stating, “We’re doing this GoFundMe to help with my sweet nephew’s funeral expenses and services for the little angel who touched so many lives in so many different ways before he was called to Heaven. Any contribution, no matter how small, would help. We are so thankful to our loving family and friends who have stood by us and shown us love through this horrific tragedy. We want to be able to lay him to rest, to say goodbye, and to never forget the little boy who loved with a tremendous heart.”

The owner of Play City has also pledged support, confirming a donation of $2,000 to Josiah’s family, a contribution that the landlord has promised to match.

The incident is presently under investigation, but as of now, no arrests have been made in connection with the accident. This deeply tragic news is indeed heartbreaking. We extend our condolences to Josiah Toleafoa’s family during this time of sorrow. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers to the family.