Passenger killed in drunken driving crash remembered during candlelight vigil

SAN ANTONIO – A woman was remembered by family and friends Thursday night at a crash site where she lost her life. 

Brittany Cruz, 28, was the passenger of a car that struck a tree off Loop 410 near Culebra Road on Sunday. 

The driver of the vehicle is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge, but Cruz’s family forgives the driver, who was also one of Cruz’s closest friends. 

“For this to happen is crazy, you know?” said Eddie Cruz, Brittany Cruz’s uncle. “I fell to my knees. I couldn’t believe it.”

Many emotions surrounded Brittany Cruz’s loved ones during the candlelight vigil.

“Being with her, her smile, her energy -- Brittany is just a wonderful person to be around,” said Ernesto Witt, Brittany Cruz’s brother.

“She was a good person. She is definitely going to be missed,” Eddie Cruz said.

Police said 23-year-old Ayana Gonzales was intoxicated when she crashed into the tree at a high rate of speed. It’s something that haunts Witt, who is also Gonzales’ adoptive brother. 

“I wanted them to go out, so we all went out, and, yeah, (Ayana) had some drinks in her, and I made sure they got home safely. Unfortunately, they took off again,” Witt said.

“We told (Ayana) what happened, that Brittany passed away, and she just broke down,” Witt said.

​Family and friends said the vigil should not only be a remembrance of the kind of woman Brittany Cruz was, but it should also be an encouragement of prayer for Gonzales, whose life will never be the same. 

“Ayana … I don’t hold anything against you. It was an accident. I still love you,” Eddie Cruz said. “Get better. I’ll see you soon.”

Gonzales is currently in the Bexar County Jail. Her bond is set at $30,000. 

Brittany Cruz’s uncle said he hopes this will be a lesson to everyone to never drink and drive. 

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