Chandler couple among those killed in San Diego drunken driving crash

Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 01:56:41-04

Cruz and AnnaMarie Contreras loved attending the La Raza run.

A popular gathering for bikers and classic car lovers, the couple had religiously attended the festivities for the last four to five years.

Among the biker brotherhood, they felt free and alive.

This year, lives were tragically cut short when a pickup truck came plunging down the Coronado bridge above the festivities.

The Contreras were among four people who died. Nine others were also injured.

Family members of the couple are now clinging together in grief.

Jacob Contreras, a nephew, spoke out on behalf of the family to ABC15 News. He said the Contreras loved life, but they loved family more. 

Not just the ones they were blessed with, but also the ones they opened their doors and hearts to. They were foster parents who dedicated their lives to working with troubled youth.

He read aloud from a letter written from one of the couple's daughters who was too broken up to speak.

"He was a very generous man," Jacob said. "He was always worried about everyone else, he made sure everyone was well fed at family gatherings; he was the grill master. He made the best steaks and tacos."

Cruz Contreras had a passion for history, motorcycles and classic cars. AnnaMarie Contreras was described as a caring, loving, and selfless person.

"She was not just our mom, she was everyone's mom," Jacob said. " Very nurturing. Everyone trusted in her and confided in her. She was the strongest woman we knew."

"Everything seems like a horrible nightmare that we cannot wake up from. We loved my mom and dad very much," said Contreras.

The family was devastated by the tragedy they felt could have been prevented.

"Please think twice about drinking and driving," Jacob said. "A drunk driver took something priceless from us that we can never replace."

"If that young man had taken a moment to call an Uber, call a taxi.  Four people would be alive today and hundreds of people wouldn't be hurting," he added.

With the holidays around the corner, Jacob said Christmas would be tough for the family.

"They hosted Christmas every year," Jacob said. "Everyone bought guests, neighbors who didn't have anywhere to go, boyfriends and girlfriends. There were a lot of people we didn't know. They would run back and write the names of these people on presents so everyone would have a present to open," said Contreras.

He said his uncle and aunt's last wishes were to get everyone to dress up in their biker gear at the services.

"They invite all the brotherhood of the motorcycle group and all the bikers to be a part of the procession. They also want everyone to do a last ride for them, wanted everyone on motorcycles and classic cars just cruising," Jacob said.

The family is requesting the help of biker communities to help fulfill their parent's last wishes.

Due to the pending homicide investigation, the bodies have still not been released from the San Diego medical examiner's office.  As soon as arrangements are finalized, ABC15 will get them to you.

You can also support the family by donating towards their funeral costs.