A gallon jar and picture of Audelino Valle sit on the counter at Joe’s Place, an Italian restaurant at 13710 Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge.
Down the road in Marumsco Plaza, a similar jar for Juan Antonio Valle sits on the counter at Brother’s Pizza and Subs.
The Valle brothers died early Sunday morning, the innocent victims of what police believe was drag racing accident.
Two cars were speeding the wrong way in the westbound lanes of Dale Boulevard when one of them ran head-on into the Valles’ car.
The jars are there to collect donations to help the family send their brothers’ remains home to El Salvador.
Audelino Valle, 30, worked as a cook at Joe’s Place. Everyone at the restaurant called him “Lino,” said Pina Noonan of Joe’s Place.
He will be hard to replace.
Everybody loved his pizza and he anticipated the arrival of his regular customers and had their favorite dishes ready, Noonan said.
“Lino was one of the best employees Joe’s Place ever had. Very honest, punctual, and customers remembered him always smiling,” Noonan said.
Noonan said the family has learned that it will cost between $7,000 and $10,000 to ship the remains to El Salvador.
Hopefully, Noonan said, the money from the jars will help the “heartbroken” family.
“Some people leave a dollar, some people change, some people $50. One gentleman left $150,” Noonan said.
The staffs at both of the restaurants were shocked by the news of their co-workers’ deaths.
Juan Antonio Valle, 26, a cook at Brother’s Subs and Pizza.
“I still can’t believe what happened,” said Joe Conigliaro, the owner of Brother’s Pizza and Subs.
Tim Benoit a waiter at Brother’s, said Juan Valle never had a bad day at work.
“He would always be in the best spirit. No matter how bad of a day I had, he would always be able to cheer me up,” Benoit said.
Benoit said the Valle brothers were the providers for their family and came to America with their older brothers, Oscar and Mario.
“They came over here from El Salvador to work and bring money back for the family. God bless them,” he said.
Benoit said he didn’t believe there was a single person at the restaurant who didn’t like Juan Valle.
The family could not be reached Wednesday.
Police said Marvin Vasquez, 24, of no fixed address, was driving the car that hit the Valles’ car.
Jose Reyes, 36, of 6102 Ray Court in Hyattsville, Md., was driving the other car and managed to avoid the crash, police said.
Reyes and Vasquez were charged with two counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence
They were held without bond.
The Valles had not been drinking and were not speeding.