Animal rescue community working together to support rescue founded by family killed in crash

Animals need rescuing after family killed in crash

BELMONT, N.C. (WBTV) - In Gaston County, a community continues to mourn the loss of four members of a family - a couple and their two young daughters - killed in a crash on I-485.

Matthew, Andrea, Elizabeth (“Sissy”), and Violet Obester leave behind 14-year-old Jacob.

"Everybody Andrea met was family," Libby Dal Santo says. "It's unthinkable that because someone wanted to shave some time off their arrival, their destination, that we've lost family."

The four, from Belmont, were killed in the wreck involving another car that was going more than 100 miles per hour on the highway.

"Immediately it was grief," Dal Santo says. "And then into rescue mode."

“Rescue,” that is, of the animals. The Obesters focused on giving back, and a major part of that included the animal rescue they founded, Angel Ark Foundation Rescue.

"I would say probably from the time Andrea was born, she loved animals," Dal Santo says.

That love passed to her husband, and the two young daughters. They leave behind all sorts of animals. An entire community of rescue groups has stepped in, to help house the animals.

"It might be different rescue organizations, we might have different names, different directions everyone's going in," Dal Santo says. "But when something is in need, it doesn't matter."

Friends, more like family, are stepping in while still in disbelief at the loss.

"The grief hasn't hit us yet," Dal Santo says. "But it will, and when it does it's going to's going to be unbearable."

Dal Santo is a partner at the Angel Ark Foundation Rescue. She says after every animal finds its new home, the Obesters’ foundation will continue with the help of friends like her, but they will be taking a short break before fully starting back up.

There is a GoFundMe in place now for the Obesters’ son, Jacob.

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