EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — CBS4 spoke to the family of the man who died in a crash in east El Paso where a woman is accused of running a red light and driving while intoxicated.
The crash happened on the 3300 block of Joe Battle and 121000 Edgemere around 2:53 a.m. on Sunday.
The man who died was identified as 28-year-old Steven Anthony Hernandez.
Officers arrested 24-year-old Valeria Mena.
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Hernandez's mother was unable to speak due to her pain.
Hernandez's younger sister Briana Lucero said they want justice for her brother.
"We are devastated by the loss of my brother we didn’t expect this to happen when we heard the call it broke all of our hearts," said Briana Lucero.
Mena is accused of driving drunk and running a red light striking Hernandez.
Mena was arrested for DWI in 2020 and 2022 according to jail records.
Hernandez's family said it's time for El Paso to have stricter consequences for drunk drivers.
"Maybe if this driver were in jail my family would still have my brother today," said Lucero.
"The state of Texas, when you have this kind of history, it is just flat unacceptable that you’re making those kind of decisions," Bill Hicks, El Paso's District Attorney, said.
Lucero said her brother always had positive energy.
"Steven is a smile; he’d walk in the room and it was always contagious and always smiling," Lucero said.
Hernandez' sister speaking with CBS4 at the site of the crash before his funeral.
Lucero said her brother's life was cut short by a common problem in El Paso.
"It’s beyond the time the city of El Paso to stop allowing these drivers to tug the heart strings of these courts on lighter sentences," Lucero said.
"It’s inexcusable. It’s not just tough, it’s inexcusable," Hicks said.
Hicks said Mena could face between two to 20 years in prison if convicted of intoxicated manslaughter.
It's a crime Hicks and the Hernandez family said could have easily been avoided.
"Call a friend, call a ride-sharing service: Uber, Lyft or a family member to get you safely home to prevent a tragic like this to ever happen again," Lucero said.
"There are so many options to not get behind the wheel and when you’ve had those chances and warnings of having those multiple DWIs and you choose to get behind the wheel, our office cannot stand for that you’re going to face jail time from our office," Hicks said.
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