- Story Highlights
- They were headed to Mexico to visit family for the holidays.
- The crash happened early Tuesday near Corpus Christi, Texas.
- A 16-year-old girl was among the victims.
A holiday vacation took a tragic turn this week when five members of a North Georgia family died in a fiery crash in Texas, according to multiple reports.
A Chevy Suburban carrying the family left an overpass, hit a highway below and burst into flames about 25 miles northwest of Corpus Christi, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said.
The driver, identified as 49-year-old Trinidad Guerrero-Cardenas, may have fallen asleep early Tuesday while traveling from Dalton to Mexico, Sgt. Nathan Brandley told The Associated Press.
The group was heading to Mexico for a two-week holiday vacation to visit family, the Dalton Daily Citizen reported. Their six-vehicle caravan left Dalton about 4 a.m. Monday, a family member said.
The crash killed Guerrero-Cardenas and passengers Jorge Nunez, 50, Clara Arroyo, 16, Victoria Castillo, 64, and Paula Avila-Lopez, 67, officials told the Corpus Christi Caller Times. It’s unclear how the victims are related.
“It’s a really difficult time for the family,” said Wilber Ramirez, Arroyo’s cousin.
Arroyo, a sophomore at Southeast Whitfield High School in Dalton, recently celebrated her 16th birthday.
“We had pictures on her Facebook and stuff celebrating her birthday,” Ramirez said. “It's difficult because she was going to see her grandparents and she didn't make it home.”
Arroyo initially was not supposed to go on the trip, but she was allowed to go because of her enthusiasm to see family members.
"Her parents didn't want her to go," Ramirez told the Corpus Christi newspaper. "They said the trip was too long and too far, but she convinced them and they let her go.
"Now they're having a hard time dealing with her passing."
A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money for Arroyo’s funeral expenses.
In other news: