SAN ANTONIO – Thirteen years after her sister was killed at the hands of her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Melissa Araujo was devastated learning that a 21-year-old man who died in a crash Saturday morning was her nephew.
San Antonio police said Dillon Trevino was riding in a car when that car was rear-ended by a truck, killing him and critically injuring three others.
“I had him since he was 6 years old,” Araujo said. “I am basically his mother because he was my baby. When his mom died, I took legal guardianship of all four of her sons.”
She said she got the call a couple of hours after the crash happened.
“It was 5:33 in the morning. The same exact time I got the call about his mother when she was killed. They ask if I was his guardian, and I said yes. Then they told me he was in an accident, and I asked them, ‘Is he OK?’ They told me they needed to come over to talk to me," Araujo said. "They came over and told me that three were in critical condition and that my son didn’t make it. My husband said that I went crazy and that I couldn’t be controlled. Who wouldn’t?”
She said Trevino had plans of going to college.
“He graduated from Lanier High School, and he came and told me he was glad and thankful for everything I had done for him and that he loved me, that he graduated because of me and that he was glad that I pushed him, because he dropped out at one time but got back in and walked across the stage," Araujo said.
That conversation was three days prior to Trevino's death.
“When I called my aunt that raised me after they told me Dillon had died, she told me that that conversation was almost as if he was telling me goodbye,” Araujo said. “That was my baby, and now he is in heaven with his mother.”
Araujo said her family is taking Trevino's death hard.
“We just can’t believe it. I don’t have a heart anymore," Araujo said. "I still have five kids left, and I have to be strong for them. I still have Dillon in my heart. I just don’t think it is fair that he was ripped away from me.”
She said Trevino, who had dreams of becoming a firefighter, was leaving his bartending job at 210 Sports Cantina and Grill when the crash happened.
“He was in love with his girlfriend. His last picture he posted on Facebook was with him and her. He had a beautiful smile. Just happy. He was very outgoing. Very friendly. They just took an angel. He was my baby. Every time he came, that hug and that kiss was there. It is not going to be there anymore. That is what I am going to miss the most," Araujo said. "I have a son on my own that is 21 years old, too, so they grew up together. I would call them my twins. I called and told him, ‘Your twin is gone,’ and he told me, ‘I got you, Ma. I got you.’”
Araujo said she even spoke to the man driving her son after the crash happened.
“I saw he was posting about it, so I friend requested him and asked him what happened, and he told me he wanted to call me. He didn’t know Dillon. He was friends with a guy who Dillon was with in the back seat," Araujo said "The man was an older man, and he said he was the last person to get cut out of the car, but when he was in there, he saw a body with a tarp over it. He said he thought it was his girlfriend’s body, who was in the passenger seat. When he got out, they showed him my son’s face, and he just said, ‘It was a youngster.’”
Araujo said the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program is assisting them like it did when Trevino’s mother was killed, but they are still in need of money for cemetery expenses. She said they plan to raise money to afford the funeral.
The four people in the truck that hit Trevino, two of whom tried to run away, are in custody with pending charges. Araujo said she hopes justice is served to the fullest extent.
“I hope I get justice for my son. I hope they get what they deserve. It is just not fair. He was just starting his life and was ripped away from our family. My son will never come back," Araujo said. "They are going to get time, and they will get released. My son is not going to come back. I know they say you are supposed to forgive, but I can’t and I won’t. I will not forgive them.”