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Community Rallies After Disney Cast Member and Her Father are Killed by Drunk Driver

The lives of a Disney Parks Cast Member and her father were taken at the hands of a drunk driver on Sunday evening. And as their community begins to process its enormous loss, some have stepped up to begin a memorial fund to ease the financial burden on those left behind.

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father and daughter sit at banquet table

Credit: NBC Palm Springs

Disneyland Cast Member Hannah Jacks and her dad, Daniel Jacks, were driving along Gilman Springs Road near the Palm Springs area on Sunday night when their vehicle was hit head-on by another vehicle being operated by a man who was intoxicated. Both Hannah–a parade performer at Disneyland Resort–and her father–a Riverside County Sheriff’s correctional deputy–were instantly killed.

The drunk driver who took their lives–Scott Bales of Moreno Valley, California–remains hospitalized but has already been arrested on suspicion of DUI murder and other charges for his part in causing the head-on collision that took the lives of Hannah, 19, and her father, 45.

On Tuesday, a memorial fund was set up at Help A Hero.com in an effort to ease the financial burden of such an unimaginable loss on those left behind–Hannah’s brother, Brent, 16, and her mother, Denay.

jacks family

Credit: NBC Palm Springs

The Help A Hero fundraising platform was originally designed as a tool to help communities raise money in support of first responders. It has expanded its focus to include heroes of all kinds.

“Simply put, a hero is anyone you deem worthy of the title,” reads a blurb on the Help A Hero website. “Originally built for our first responders, Help A Hero has been expanded to include everyone’s heroes when they are in need of community fundraising.”

The memorial fund designated to benefit the family of Hannah and her father was begun on Tuesday and has a goal of $50,000. In less than 48 hours, more than $12,200 had been donated–nearly 25% of the goal.

family of four

Credit: NBC Palm Springs

A description of the memorial fund for Hannah and her father reads as follows:

The night sky has gotten a bit brighter. Daniel and Hannah were quite the team. Silly faces and countless laughs, the relationship as father and daughter was immeasurable. Daniel’s pride in all Hannah did was known and felt by all.

Daniel, 45, was part of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department since 2008. His love for his family was evident to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. All of his son’s soccer games, every recital Hannah danced in, Daniel was there no questions asked. Taking selfies with the dog next door, to send to their owners, just because he knew it would get a good laugh. That was the kind of fun he would have because-well why not.

Hannah, 19, dancer, performer, and full of life instructor. She knew what she wanted and she was making it happen. Dancing and performing since the age of two, Hannah was a force for the Arts. Headlining in several shows, she had that passion and desire that radiated in all she did. Her most recent dream that she made come true was to be a performer at Disneyland.

The loss of these two beautiful people has left a huge void in so many hearts. The world was better to have known them. Father and daughter together for eternity. Her daddy never left her side…

Daniel and Hannah leave behind a son and brother, Brent, 16, and a wife and mother, Denay. They will be missed and loved always.

parade performer at disneyland

Credit: NBC Palm Springs

Those who wish to make a donation to the memorial fund can click here.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Hannah and Daniel’s family and the community that feels a void today in light of this loss.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!