Tragic Body-on-Freeway-Sign Story Grows Odder

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Richard Pananian died on Friday when the vehicle he was driving (erratically, according to reports) hit another vehicle and flipped over. Pananian was ejected from the car, and, unbelievably, the 20-year-old’s body ended up on the 5 freeway’s Colorado Street exit sign in Glendale.

Following Pananian’s death, his cousin, Armen Kardashian, launched a GoFundMe page requesting $50,000 for the young man’s family. Kardashian, who describes his cousin as loving and thoughtful, says his aunt and uncle are in financial straits after the loss of their son.

“The funds will go to cover all the costs of the funeral, memorial, any costs incurred through any damages, and any private or public service of their choosing,” Kardashian writes. “If funds are remaining they will go to his mother and father for financial support through these difficult times.

Facing criticism for the amount of money requested, Kardashian wrote on the fundraising page that, “The family by no means comes from money, and at [sic] time, the only thing I thought about is removing any and all financial burden this family may be facing during these traumatic times.”

Kardashian also shared other details about his cousin’s life, including that he was a careful driver who wore a five-point harness when in the car (although he reportedly wasn’t wearing a seat belt when he died). Kardashian also said Pananian’s death was especially ironic, since five days before the crash, his family performed a “lamb sacrifice for protect him from harm and evil. In the Armenian culture sacrifices are done when someone escapes death, and Richard’s life was once spared.”

Kardashian has already raised nearly $10,000.

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