ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of an Albuquerque woman killed in a car crash two weeks ago is waiting to see if charges will be filed against the person suspected of running a red light and hitting her. The family is pleading for justice and honoring the woman in a “Slow Down Albuquerque” event.
“It is hard to go through this,” said Julie Gonzales, Erika Chavez’s mom. Gonzales struggles to hold back tears talking about Chavez who died nearly two weeks ago in a car crash. The family said Chavez was a mother to three kids, an Albuquerque local, and had a heart of gold.
“My daughter was supposed to bury me, not the other way around,” said Gonzales. Chavez’s family said she was going to pick up food for her husband and kids when witnesses said the other driver ran the red light at Unser and Tower, hitting Chavez’s car. She died instantly. Her three-year-old daughter was in the backseat and survived but was bruised.
In the police report, the driver claims he had problems with his gas pedal and his transmission and told police he tried to hit the brakes but was unable to stop in time. Witnesses told the family the driver was going about 120 miles per hour. That driver still has not been arrested but in the report, it does list excessive speed and failure to yield as contributing factors. Police said they’re still investigating.
“I want awareness for her,” said Gonzales. “I want justice for her because that guy was driving fast.” Because of this tragedy, the family is gathering on Saturday, September 26, at the spot where Chavez died to honor her memory and bring awareness to Albuquerque’s problem with speeders.
“We’re gonna have signs, have posters to tell people ‘Slow Down Albuquerque’ because of what happened two weeks ago,” said Gonzales. “These kids are without a mother.” The family is hoping they get the attention of state and local elected officials to possibly get legislation named in her honor and prevent this from happening to another family.
“We want as many people there so it can be a wakeup call, so other people don’t go through this,” said Gonzales.
Albuquerque Police said more evidence needs to be analyzed before they send anything off to the District Attorney’s Office. The ‘Slow Down Albuquerque’ gathering will begin around 11 a.m. at Unser and Tower on Saturday.
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