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Two El Pasoans killed in separate weather-related car crashes

By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas -- Two similar yet separate car crashes more than 200 miles apart claim the lives of both an El Paso grandmother and father.

Authorities said the two were traveling for different out-of-town high school football games.

Maria Cano, 62, is the grandmother of a Bowie High School student. She was killed Saturday on her way home from watching her grandson play football a few hours away in Midland. That's where the Bowie High School football team was for the playoffs.

"They went to the game and I thought it was going to be alright, but (it wasn't)," said Cano's brother-in-law.

The Culberson County sheriff, who is handling the case, said Cano was in a van filled with 11 people when they crashed. He said icy roads were a factor.

"We didn't expect this," said Cano's brother-in-law.

The bad weather also played a role in a separate crash this weekend.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the father of a Chapin High School football player was killed in Amarillo. Authorities identify the man as 56-year-old Hector Perales. According to reports, Perales never made it to the stadium to watch his son Elijah in the playoffs.

An Oldham County sheriffs spokesperson said this crash involved nearly a dozen vehicles. Two other people were killed in the crash and several others were hurt.

Perales was a fourth-grade teacher at Pasodale Elementary.

"He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the Pasodale community," said Patricia Ayala with the Ysleta Independent School District.

The El Paso Independent School District's Superintendent Juan Cabrera released a statement regarding both deadly crashes.

"This has been a sad and tragic weekend for our EPISD family. Our thoughts and prayers remain with both families, and the Chapin and Bowie communities during this difficult time. We are here to support the families and the school communities," said Cabrera.

EPISD will have grief counselors on both campuses for anyone who needs support.

EPISD staff said the football team, coaches and band members are stuck out of town until the district feels it's safe for them to drive home. They're expected to come home tomorrow.


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