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Family mourns loss of father and son killed in crash at Poway High School

Steve and Stephen Pirolli
poway espola road 02132021.png
Posted at 9:19 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 10:17:06-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The family of the father and son who died in a car accident in front of Poway High School Friday, is mourning.

“We were caught off guard. No question about it," Tom Pirolli said.

Tom is the older brother and godfather of Steve Pirolli, 54, and Stephen,14.

Tom said the two were inseparable, adding Steve was at nearly every baseball practice and game of Stephen's.

Around 8 p.m. Friday he got a call they were in an accident.

"We rushed down, we didn’t even know where we were going, my sister-in-law was hysterical," he said looking down.

Steve and Stephen were leaving baseball practice around 7 p.m. at Poway High School, a fluke because practice was originally scheduled for that morning. The rain changed their plans.

Steve was turning left onto Espola Road when a 19-year-old t-boned their car, killing both Steve and Stephen.

The 19-year-old had non life threatening injuries.

Tom said once he started to understand the gravity of the accident, he became numb.

He said his sister-in-law, Lorie, was cold and upset, arriving at the crash site about an hour before him.

He described a complete stranger, who lived in the area, came out with a blanket to comfort Lorie before he arrived.

"She was absolutely so wonderful and kind and I'm always going to remember that," he said he still doesn't know her name but wants her to know how thankful he is.

The love and support from the community continues to shower the Pirollis.

"People are reaching out from thousands of miles away and thirty years ago," Tom said.

He appreciated the spontaneous memorial San Diego Crush Baseball Club held Saturday. Tom said he learned how Steve and Stephen impacted others' lives.

Stephen was on their high school prep team and in love with baseball. According to Tom, had an aptitude for it.

"He hit his first home run in a game not too too long ago about a month or so. It was a grand slam and it won the game but I heard it from my brother I didn’t hear it from my godson," saying Stephen was quiet and caring.

Tom said Stephen wanted to become a professional baseball player and was even featured in the introduction to the MLB The Show 18 baseball video game.

When asked what he wanted people to know about Steve and Stephen, Tom responded, "Just how supportive they were of each other. How proud my brother was of Stephen and how proud Stephen was of his dad."

Tom was just one year older than Steve and said they were always close, "we shared a bedroom until we were 10 or 11 [years-old]. We live very close together, my daughters are the same age as Stephen."

A devastating loss for a tight-knit family.

"I'm going to miss Steve's companionship, I'm going to miss holidays. I'm going to miss the milestones Stephen will have had and the milestones my family will have," he said.

Steve and Stephen are survived by wife and mother, Lorie, and step-daughter and half-sister, Jazmin.

If you would like to help the family pay for funeral or medical expenses, they have set up a GoFundMe.

Sheriff's Deputies said drugs and alcohol were not determined to be factors of the crash and the cause is under investigation.