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Wrong-way driver kills 29-year-old man on I-10
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Police Department said 29-year-old Gabriel Morales died after a wrong-way driver crashed into his vehicle head-on early Thursday.
The Police Department said a 49-year-old man driving a gold Mercedes Benz hit Morales while driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 near the Zaragoza Road exit.
The accident happened at approximately 2:30 a.m., and police told KFOX14 at the scene that alcohol could be a factor.
Morales' brother, Miguel Trevizo, said he believes Morales was driving home after seeing friends when the crash happened.
"He was just a great guy. He was strong, athletic, smart, funny and handsome. Everybody he was around loved him. If you ever got to know him, you would fall in love with him," Trevizo said.
Trevizo also said Morales worked as a cosmetologist and entered hair-dressing competitions.
"He was very good at what he did," Trevizo said.
If alcohol was involved, Trevizo said he wants his brother's death to remind people in the community not to drink and drive.
"Take care of each other. Make sure that you have a designated driver. Look out for people. This could have easily been avoided," Trevizo said.
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said they are conducting a statewide study along with the Texas Transportation Institute to find ways to prevent wrong-way drivers. Some of the measures include electronic boards that notify drivers they are traveling in the wrong direction or a system that would automatically alert law enforcement.
The Police Department said the 49-year-old man was taken to Del Sol Medical Center with serious injuries. Because criminal charges are pending, the Police Department said that man's name has not been released.