Chicago couple killed in 21-car Florida crash while celebrating years-delayed honeymoon, family says

Maribel Macedo owned Isel's Cleaners on West Devon; husband, Armando Gomez Sanchez, also killed

ByLeah Hope and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Couple killed in 21-car crash in Florida while celebrating years-delayed honeymoon
The owner of an Edgewater dry cleaning business and her husband were killed in a Florida I-75 crash New Year's Day, family says.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The owner of an Edgewater dry cleaning business and her husband were killed earlier this month in a 21-car pile-up in Florida, family said.

Maribel Macedo and Armando Gomez Sanchez died Jan. 1, their daughter said in a Facebook post.

They were involved in a large crash on Interstate 75 in Florida on New Year's Day, according to a GoFundMe.

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Loved ones said the husband and wife were pillars of support for their family.

Macedo owned Isel's Cleaners on West Devon Avenue in Edgewater.

The storefront familiar to so many in Edgewater is shuttered and they are only doing pickups for now.

"It's tragic it's obviously a devastating loss," said the couple's daughter, Isela Macedo.

Macedo and Sanchez were celebrating a years-delayed honeymoon in Florida.

On the drive back home to Illinois, they were among those caught in bad weather and a 21 car crash in Florida on New Year's Day.

"I will be honest, it's heartbreaking," said the couple's nephew, Jonathan Lopez.

Maribel, who is a tailor, opened Isel's Cleaners in Edgewater over ten years ago. She eventually expanded and moved across the street to the current location while getting a commendation and gaining a loyal customer base.

It's a place where customers quickly became friends.

"It's a loss for the community a big loss because she grew from a small spot to a big spot, so she had a lot of customers and she was very loved," said customer Lucy Perez.

"The clean clothes and mended clothes were just a bonus," added fellow customer Melanie Koskamp. "The best part of coming to Isel's Cleaners was to see Maribel."

"She has always put all of her effort -- her love, just all of her light into everything that she does, including every single stitch she stitched," Isela said.

"Hearing the impact from other people -- the community -- just people who shared a moment with her that is truly special right now in this moment we need it the most," Lopez said.

"It's been overwhelming, in a good way, hearing all of the stories and what people have to say. It makes me feel like she is still with me, like they are both still with me," Isela added.

It's unclear what will happen to the business. For now, a part time employee is helping customers.

Many faithful customers have left special words of tribute on the GoFundMe.

A funeral service will be held Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 6250 N Milwaukee Avenue. Family said it will open to customers who want to share in celebrating the couple.