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Family performed lamb sacrifice to protect man days before he was ejected onto freeway sign

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LOS ANGELES – Family members are mourning after a 20-year-old man died in a car crash, which sent his body onto a freeway sign last week.

“It’s hard to believe that he’s gone,” Pananian’s friend, Andrew Panosian, told KCBS.

On Friday, officers say 20-year-old Richard Pananian was driving along the southbound 5 Freeway when he lost control of his vehicle.

Authorities say Pananian was passing vehicles on the right shoulder when he lost control and rear-ended a pickup truck.

“We think that this driver was driving at a high rate of speed and collided with another vehicle and, as a result of that collision, flipped over, overturned,” said Officer Edgar Figueroa, with the California Highway Patrol. “The driver of that vehicle was ejected onto the freeway traffic sign.”

He died at the scene. Investigators say he was not wearing a seat belt.

Now, family members are reeling after the loss.

“He was a very genuine soul. He was loving and caring,” Pananian’s cousin, Armen Kardashian, said. “He would give to others before taking himself. He was not materialistic.”

Kardashian says he created a GoFundMe account to help the family with the “unexpected financial burdens” following Pananian’s death.

Kardashian says the family can’t believe something like this would happen.

In fact, he says the family had sacrificed a lamb to protect Pananian just five days before the crash.

“A week ago today on 10/25 the family had done what is called a “matag” or a lamb sacrifice for Richard to protect him from harm and evil. In the Armenian culture sacrifices are done when someone escapes death, as Richards life was once spared,” Kardashian wrote on the GoFundMe page.

So far, the family has raised over $9,000.