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‘The lights of our lives:’ Las Cruces family mourns mother & child killed in suspected El Paso drunk driving crash

mother, son killed
25-year-old Elide Yvonne Garcia and 6-year-old Jose Luis Wences.

(Editor's note: The family is seeking help to pay for the funerals. If you're interested in donating, there is a link at the bottom of this article.)

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The family of a Las Cruces mother and son killed in a suspected drunk driving crash in El Paso over the weekend said Monday that the boy was "her world."

"She would give everything for him," said Jessica Garcia, who lost her sister and nephew. "He was her star."

Jose Luis Wences, 6, and his mother, Elide Yvonne Garcia, 25, died after their car was struck by an alleged wrong-way drunk driver on Loop 375 in El Paso on Saturday evening, according to authorities. Garcia's boyfriend, Alberto Cuellar, was critically injured in the crash.

"My mom was waiting for them," Jessica Garcia said. "They didn't make it back home. They were supposed to come back home."

El Paso police said they arrested the driver of an SUV going the wrong direction, 73-year-old Juan Martinez. Martinez, who is still in the hospital, allegedly drove head-on into Garcia's car along Loop 375 around 8 p.m. Saturday near Bowie High School.

When Martinez is released from the hospital, police plan to book him into the downtown El Paso jail, according to a police spokesman.

Garcia's sister said she was about to graduate with her degree in criminal justice from New Mexico State University with plans of being a lawyer.

"She wanted to help our community," Jessica Garcia said. "She would always want to defend those who needed to bee defended."

Wences was a first-grader at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Las Cruces, his aunt said. The 6-year-old was passionate about cars and trucks..

"He would like to make the truck sounds," Jessica Garcia said. "If he didn't want to eat his healthy meals, (my sister) would say, 'You've got to give that truck gas.'"

She told ABC-7 that her family plans to bury Elise and Jose together. If you'd like to donate for their funerals, click here.

"There's a big celebration in Heaven for both of them," Garcia said. "They are both big stars... The lights of our lives."

Article Topic Follows: Crime

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.


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