GARLAND — Family members of an 18-year-old Garland girl killed in a horrific accident urged dozens of teens to use the death of their classmate as a powerful lesson to never drink and drive.
Jassmine Alferez, her two cousins — 11-year-old Demarco Morales and 12-year-old Brenda Morales — her grandfather, Humberto Chavez, 61, and a woman died in the crash Sunday afternoon in El Paso.
Alferez' friends and classmates came to Lakeview Centennial High School to cry, share stories and remember. Jassmine recently graduated from the campus.
The five were killed when a pickup truck ran a stop sign and slammed into their Chevy Impala sedan. The driver of the pickup was charged with five counts of intoxication manslaughter.
"We see it all the time on TV, but it doesn't hit us as hard as it does when it hits you at home," said Judy Chavez, Alferez' aunt.
Ramona Chavez' message at the candlelight vigil was aimed at parents. "Hug your kids," she said. "Tell them how much you love them, because you don't know when will be the last time you see them alive."
Jassmine's parents were in El Paso on Monday night, preparing to bring their daughter home to Garland for her funeral.