A tearful memorial service turned into a celebration of life Friday as the family of Jessica Rodriguez marked the one year anniversary of her death.
The 28-year-old was killed on her birthday after a car accident on I-10.
Rodriguez’ ten-year-old daughter Kaylee was also killed in the crash.
“My cousins were really loved. They were really good people,” said Rodriguez’ cousin Jeanette Gil. “They were the greatest people anyone could ever meet.”
Around midnight on March 22, 2012 the two were inside their Toyota Corolla parked on the right shoulder of I-10, waiting for Rodriguez’ fiancée to change a flat tire.
Their car was hit by a Jeep driven by Christopher Lamar.
Police said the man was speeding and drunk at the time.
Lamar is facing intoxication manslaughter charges.
Among the among the dozens of memorial t-shirts worn by the family were several others embroidered with a clear yet simple message – don’t drink and drive.
"It's so sad to see so many people losing their lives over people who just want to go out and have fun and drink," said Rodriguez’ cousin David Macias.
Since their deaths the family has joined the efforts of organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“It’s important for people to know that [drinking and driving] rips families apart,” said Gil. “We’re proof of that.”
Christopher Lamar’s trial is scheduled to begin in April.