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Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 12:20am
The family of a teen killed in a car crash earlier this week is speaking out about the victim - 16 year old Alonzo Perez.
Police say Perez was racing when he slammed his car into a pole in west El Paso on Thursday. But his family says that shouldn't be how he's remembered.
The family said the 16 year old was a bright young man, who loved to make people's day. They said that is how they will keep him in their memories.
"Whenever a loved one is lost, it is difficult,” said Gisela Sarellano, Perez’s godmother. “But especially with someone as young as Alonzo goes, its unfathomable really."
She said she will always remember him as a caring person. That is how the family wants the community to know about him, not for the way he died.
"I just want for them to know he was an extraordinary young man,” she said. “That he had the biggest heart you would find."
As we reported, the teenager died Thursday after police say he was racing his car down Resler Drive in west El Paso.
He lost control, smashed into a pole, and split his car in half.
Alonzo's girlfriend, Mariana De Los Santos said he was fascinated with fast cars.
"He watched a lot of race car shows, a lot of car shows. He always talked about cars. Literally. Cars were his toys," she said.
On Thursday, she says she knew something was wrong when she hadn't heard from him.
"It happened after school. So i was texting him too and he didn't answer," De Los Santos said.
Then she got the call from Alonzo’s mom. The two of them went to the hospital, where they learned he didn't make it.
Now all she has left is memories of her teenage boyfriend.
"He loves people. He's very social. He would make anyone's day, literally. Even if he was sad, he would rather make you smile," she explained.
Alonzo's family has set up a make shift memorial inside their home, full of cards that Alonzo’s friends wrote them.
They say seeing the positive impact he had on classmates will help get them through the weeks ahead.
"When you lose a child, it goes against nature. Against the order. Your children are supposed to outlive you. Not the other way around,” said Sarellano
Friends have planned a vigil for Perez at Franklin High on Monday at 5:30. The family is also working on funeral arrangements.
A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo to help with funeral costs. You can go to any Wells Fargo in the city, ask for the In Memory of Alonzo Perez account (Account Number 6356917119) to donate.