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‘You leave many others suffering’: El Paso man who lost girlfriend, her son in crash urges no drunk driving

EL PASO, Texas -- Exactly one month ago, Alberto Cuellar's life was turned upside-down. A suspected drunk driver going the wrong way on Loop 375 slammed into his car, killing his girlfriend of two years, Elide Yvonne Garcia, and her son, Jose Luis Wences, 6.

Cuellar is still hospitalized at UMC, but he wanted to talk to ABC-7 about his pain, both physical and emotional.

Cuellar, 29, ended up getting pulled away to undergo an MRI. Upon his return an hour later, it was clear he was in pain. His brow was furrowed and he was groaning as the nurse rolled his bed back into his room in the trauma unit. The MRI required a lot of manipulation of his legs, it was later explained.

His legs bore the brunt of the impact of the crash, which happened on Dec. 7, 2019 near Bowie High School. Pictures of Cuellar shortly after he was hospitalized show his legs in traction.

"I have two broken calves, two cracks on the femurs, the right knee, my hip and my ribs," Cuellar said in Spanish as he gestured to each afflicted body part.

His ability to walk again is still questionable.

"I have a lot of pain," Cuellar said. "I cannot move. I have to ask for help all the time for them to move my feet."

His mother, Virginia, took her time placing blankets and foam around and under his legs, trying her best to ease his pain. She had to tell her son his girlfriend, Elide, and her son, Jose Luis, were killed in the crash. But that devastating blow wasn't dealt until nearly two weeks later.

"Up until now he says he can't believe it," she said in Spanish. "He says he doesn't know where the graves are at and that until he sees the grave will he actually believe it. And day by day he tells me that he cannot see his life without them, because they were good, like they were actually good."

Cuellar winced when he talked about how he learned about their deaths.

"The only thing I remember is thinking, 'Where is my family? How were they? If I was like this, then what must have happened to them?'" he said. "They did not want to tell me because of how I was. It was then when I found out when they passed away."

His mother told ABC-7 that Cuellar and Garcia had plans to get married. They had already applied for a marriage license.

Tears rolled down Cuellar's cheeks as he said, "Every day, every moment, every day, not a minute they are out of my mind. They were all my life."

Amid the pain, there is anger. Anger about their new life they didn't choose.

"Honestly, I feel like I'm in a nightmare," said Virginia, Cuellar's mom. "I'm in a nightmare in which I have to see my son in a situation in which I have to help him move around, the nurses shower him and aid him in the restroom. For everything he needs help."

There's anger about the choices made by a man that El Paso police said was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

"We both get mad about how our lives changed in a matter of a second by a person who did not think about others, by someone who did not say, 'Someone take me home,' or simply, 'I'll turn off the car, lock the doors and I'll stay here,'" Virginia said.

She and Alberto both have a plea for others to not drink and drive.

"Think twice about things before driving," Cuellar said. "For someone who is drunk, it's easy to get in their car and drive off. But look at what you've done. Two deaths and leaving me disabled, just because one person who was drunk and got in his vehicle. So please, I ask you all who drink to not drive, not only for your sake, but for the sake of others. Because you leave many others suffering."

Juan Martinez, 73, has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one charge of intoxication assault.

Crime / News / Top Stories / Video

Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. Accidents happen even without any alcohol involved. Adding alcohol to a situation creates a disastrous consequence for both the victims and perpetrators. This poor man may never walk again or be in pain for the rest of his life, the loss of innocent life that can never be repaid, and an old man that will die in prison because of his actions. I agree with Mr. Cuellar’s advocacy of people to think before they drink and drive. There is just too much to loose. My condolences to Mr. Cuellar and all the victims in this case.

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