Northeastern Illinois University students Victor Maldonado, David Roman killed in Texas crash with semi-truck

January 19, 2014 ( CHICAGO)

MORE: Fund for families of Maldonado, Roman

David Roman and Victor Maldonado were on their way to a fraternity conference in Arizona.

Three other students in the car were hurt when it collided with a semi.

The accident happened Friday as the young people were driving through the Texas panhandle.

Maldonado and Roman were killed when their Chevy Impala collided with a tractor-trailer. Police say Maldonado fell asleep at the wheel, however the 18-year-old's father says that is not the case.

Both students were remembered Sunday as smart young men with very bright futures.

It was the look of disbelief. With candles and white roses students and family members came together at Northeastern Illinois University Sunday afternoon to remember David Roman and Victor Maldanado Jr.

"It's like having an out of body experience," said Victor Maldonado Sr. "I'm just hoping that he calls to say they have the wrong person."

It's a call every parent fears. Victor Maldondo Sr. didn't even know his son Victor Jr. was going on a road trip until he had already left. The 18-year-old was behind the wheel when he was killed in a crash about 85 miles northwest of Amarillo. Texas.

Maldonado and four of his fraternity brothers were on their way from Chicago to an Omega Delta Phi leadership conference in Arizona when the accident occurred. Kyle Thomas, Seth Amofa and David Rubio were injured, while David Roman was killed. The 23-year-old was sitting directly behind Maldanado.

"David was an absolute leader and that is one of the reasons why David was involved in everything he could," said friend Jose Jimenez.

Roman and Maldonado joined Omega Delti Phi last fall. The fraternity says they were accepted because of their great academic records and their involvement on campus.

"They were eager to accomplish things not only for themselves but their fraternity families, very involved community service as well," said Denny Esquivel, Omega Delta Phi.

Roman was a chemistry major, Maldonado made his dad proud by being a business major.

"He was an amazing person," Victor Maldonado Sr. said. "It's just sad he was taken away from us, he had so much potential, he would give his shirt off his back."

Victor Maldonado Jr. grew up in Chicago. David Roman's family is from north suburban Mundelein.

Their injured fraternity brothers remain in a Texas hospital. The Omega Delta Phi chapter at Northeastern Illinois University is raising funds for the Maldonado and Roman families. The fraternity is helping pay for the cost of bringing the students bodies back to Chicago.

For more information:

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.