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Family, friends remember teenager killed in west El Paso crash
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- Family and friends of 16-year-old Alonzo Perez said they have received overwhelming support from the community after Perez died in a car crash Thursday. The impact from hitting a traffic signal pole near the intersection of Resler and Black Ridge split his car in half.
"At this time, one of the things that we're mainly doing is just trying to come together as a family, as a community, and that's what's really helping us. This isn't something you prepare for. This isn't something that you're ever ready for," Perez's godmother Gisela Sarellano said.
As KFOX14 previously reported, the crash also left passenger Irvins Parba injured. The El Paso Police Department also told KFOX14 racing could have caused the crash. Because of this, some people close to Perez said they do not want the community to assume he was irresponsible.
"Some people are making judgements, and they don't know that Alonzo had such a huge heart. He was typically a very responsible young man," Sarellano said.
People who didn't even know Perez have been sending his family letters to show their support.
"He is the oldest brother, so everybody looked up to him. His brothers and his sisters looked up to him. He's very sociable. He loves people," Perez's girlfriend Mariana de los Santos said.
Some of Perez's friends also plan to sell T-shirts to raise money for funeral expenses. Sarellano said funeral arrangements are not yet set.
Besides spending time with loved ones, those close to Perez said he loved to play and watch sports. Many also said he loved to fix cars.
"He wanted his own car shop. Cars were like his toys," de los Santos said.
Sarellano said Perez's family has set up an account at Wells Fargo bank for donations to go toward funeral expenses. She said those interested can contact her via email at email@example.com. A vigil is also planned at Franklin High School for Monday at 5:30 p.m.