Family members honor victims in wrong way I-19 crash

KOLD wrong-way I-19 crash

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Luis Barnett spent his Monday sitting in the waiting room at the Diamond Children's Center at Banner UMC.

It’s where his cousin, Angel Gradillas, has been in and out of surgery after becoming hurt in a devastating crash on the I-19 early Sunday morning.

Gradillas' mother, Edith Munoz, and his two brothers, Saul and Mario, were killed in the collision.

A tragedy Barnett wasn't expecting when he answered the phone on Sunday.

"I thought it was a dream. I wasn't sure how to react, Barnett said while getting choked up. "It's my family. Our only survivor is Angel. He was named that for a reason."

The waiting room at Banner UMC has been Barnett's temporary home.

As he eagerly awaited updates on Angel’s condition, he wore his cousin’s Raiders jersey in memoriam.

In the corner, Barnett set up a memorial with flowers and photos to remember his cousins and his aunt.

"She fought for her kids to her last day," Barnett said. "She knew how to handle every situation when it came to trouble."

He shared with KOLD several photos of their memories together. Everything from holidays to their travel adventures.

Together they're a family with a big heart, always giving back.

Now this tight knit family must lean on each other to heal.

"We're a very small family," said Barnett. "It makes it ten times harder because Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. It will never be the same again."

Barnett is the only family member of the family living here in the U.S.

The rest of his family lives in Nogales, Sonora. They were granted 15-day visas to come say their goodbyes and to be there for Angel as he continues to recover.

If you’d like to help the family, here’s a link to their GoFundMe page.

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