Boy From Chula Vista, Josiah Toleafoa, Killed By Car in Parking Lot of Play City on 3rd Birthday

May 27 was supposed to be a day of celebration for Josiah Toleafoa, a 3-year-old boy from Chula Vista, CA. He and his family had just arrived at Play City – an indoor playcenter and party venue fit with bounce houses, a three-level play structure, and much more – to celebrate his 3rd birthday in style. 

Things took a major turn for the worse when Josiah was hit and killed by a vehicle as they walked through the parking lot – on their way to the front door of the venue. First responders started treating the boy right away and rushed him to the nearby Rady Children’s Hospital, where he later succumbed to the injuries. 

On May 28, Josiah’s aunt (Tatiana Toleafoa Labs) and great-aunt (Claudia Garay) each created a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral costs as the family adjusts to life without Josiah. The first account has raised $26,397 with more than 460 donations, while Claudia’s has raised more than $3,000. 

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Of all the donations Josiah’s family received over the past four days, the largest one was for $2,000 and it came from the owner of Play City – a donation that was apparently matched by his landlord. There were two other donations of $2,000 – one from The District of Eastlake and another from Awaken Church. 

Among the other companies, businesses, and community groups to donate to Josiah’s cause include Speed Circuit Family Fun Center, Laura Littrell Flooring, Inc., Ninja Factory, Floaties Swim School, San Diego Exquisite Picnics, and LittleHouz Designs – the Chula Vista community apparently rides together.

Tatiana Toleafoa Labs, the little boy’s aunt, described his death as an ‘accident that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.’ The family is now stuck mourning the life he won’t get the chance to live and are still struggling to accept the tragedy that struck – especially given the timing, with it being his birthday party. 

“We are so thankful to have loving family and friends to be with us and love us through this horrible tragedy and want to be able to put him to rest to say goodbye and never forget the little boy who loved with a tremendous heart,” Tatiana continued – urging others to donate to support his funeral costs. 

Great-Aunt Praises Josiah Toleafoa for Bringing the Family Together

Claudia Garay, the little boy’s great-aunt, also shared some beautiful words about Josiah Toleafoa in her GoFundMe description. She remembers him as the ‘sweetest, most lovable’ little boy who ‘touched the lives of those around him’ – noting his ‘captivating look and contagious smile’ that made him stand out.

“NO ONE is ever prepared for a tragedy like this. 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,” Claudia continued. 

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While the family begins the mourning process, the incident appears to be under investigation. While no one has been charged, there’s a chance that could change in the near future. Authorities confirmed that the driver – who was a 36-year-old – was cooperative, not under the influence, and stayed at the scene.

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