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Borderland family loses 3 loved ones in 2 suspected drunk driving crashes

drunk driving victims
In one month, a Borderland family lost three loved ones in two suspected drunk driving crashes.

EL PASO, Texas - Three victims, two suspected drunk drivers, one family.

Just weeks after a mother and child died in a suspected drunk driving crash on Loop 375, the Garcia family lost another member to an alleged drunk driver.

"I don't think words can really explain it," said Debby Garcia.

On December 7th, police say a wrong way driver killed 25-year-old Elide Yvonne Garcia and her 6-year-old son, Jose Luis Wences. Authorities accuse 73-year-old Juan Martinez of driving drunk.

“Every day that goes by, we continue to suffer," said Jesus Daniel Garcia, Elide's father and Jose's grandfather, in Spanish. "I don’t feel complete without them.”

Without warning, tragedy struck the Garcia family again.

On January 9th, police say an intoxicated driver ran a red light, striking and killing 38–year-old Celso Manuel Garcia Jr., who was on a motorcycle. Authorities arrested 27–year old Ivan Romo, a Fort Bliss solider whose blood alcohol level was reportedly twice the legal limit.

 “The only thing I’m thankful for is that God let me give him a kiss twice before he left," said Debby Garcia, who described Celso Garcia Jr. as the love of her life. "I talked to him an hour before he died. We were able to say I love you.”

She will now bury her husband of twelve years, who left behind five children.

“(It's been) very hard," said Shelby Garcia, his 8-year-old daughter.

“My wife, she looked out the window to see if he had come home," said Celso Garcia Sr. in Spanish. "She was asking, ‘When is my son coming home? He’s still not here.'"

Mourning together and planning another funeral, the Garcia family has a desperate plea for drivers in El Paso and Las Cruces.

“If you’re drinking, please don’t drive," Jesus Daniel Garcia said in Spanish. "Please understand the pain that others go through. Please be a little bit more responsible and stay home or ask someone to drive you home.”

"It's a horrible thing, especially knowing it wasn’t their fault," said Debby Garcia.

(ABC-7 Photographer Daniel Fuentes contributed to this article.)

Crime / News / Top Stories

Kate Bieri

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

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.



  1. Oh my, oh my! My heart goes out to this poor family. I’m so sorry for them. Just too much to take for one family. I agree with Mr. Garcia, please don’t drink and drive. The cost is beyond pain.

  2. Terrible tragedy. How are the victims related, KVIA?
    Are they cousins, or what? I can see the last is the same, Garcia – but that’s a common sir name.
    KVIA is better, since the change over, but gaps in reporting – common sense additional information, is still lacking.
    Oh ya, and Alberto is a drunken pest.

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