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Husband of Valley mother killed by suspected drunk driver speaks

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jan 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 00:17:54-05

PHOENIX — "We lost her, but we gained her as an angel," says Francisco Murrieta

Francisco Murrieta is holding onto his boys, knowing his wife Crystal Garcia died trying to protect them.

"She definitely jumped over to make sure Danny was okay," says Murrieta.

They were spending New Year's Eve with Crystal's family. After midnight, they decided to head home which was just a few minutes away.

"I looked to my left and it looked clear. I saw a couple of cars to the right, but it was clear enough for me to merge and as soon as I went, I just heard her say, 'watch out.' When I looked, I just saw the headlights and it collided with us," says Murrieta.

The crash happened near 38th Street and Greenway.

Phoenix police tell us a man driving an SUV, crashed into the family's sedan.

Crystal and her three sons, ages six months, five, and eight years old, were all rushed to the hospital.

The boys were injured but survived. Now they have to live without their mother.

"They're going to vent their own way; they're going to process it in their own way but it's just still the fact that they're going to wake up and mom's not going to be there," says Murrieta.

Police say the other driver was processed for DUI, then released pending toxicology results.

Francisco telling ABC15, that person's decision to get behind the wheel has devastated his entire family.

"You hear about it and you know, in a blink of an eye it happened to us, unfortunately, and it hurts. If you can afford to go buy 10-dollar beers at a bar or club, you can afford a 10-dollar Uber home. It's that simple," says Murrieta.

He hopes that person is held responsible.

"We just want justice for her and my sons," says Murrieta.

Right now though, his focus is on his boys and memories of Crystal.

"She was a great mother to the kids. She was my best friend and we did everything together," says Murrieta.

To help the family, click here.