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Family remembers GCU students killed in crash

Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 21:56:10-04

PHOENIX — Two Grand Canyon University students were killed in a car crash earlier this month.

Chelsea Nicole Valladares, 21, and Kelli Ingle, 22, were heading to Albuquerque when their car hit a guard rail and became stuck in the road. Moments later, a tractor-trailer crashed into the sedan.

Valladares died at the scene. Ingle died a few days later at the hospital.

GCU will hold a celebration of life for the two girls on Wednesday.

Before the celebration of life, Valladares' mother, Erica Valladares, told ABC 15 her daughter was religious and a hard worker.

"A good girl, like she was very driven, goal oriented, and a great loyal friend," she said.

According to the family, Valladares and Ingle were best friends and shared a close bond.

Unfotrtunately, the family lost another daughter several years ago.

Lexi Valladares died in 2010 and had special needs.

Erica said her family prayed that Chelsea would find a friend that she could share special moments with.

"And we really feel like that was Kelli," she said.

"I pictured them being in each other's weddings, and being there for babies, they were going to live together," Erica added. "Chelsea had just texted me that night, 'Here's the house,' I texted back 'That looks beautiful -- I'm so excited for you girls,' and she was like 'Yeah, it'll be exciting so.'"

Erica said she finds peace knowing that her daughters and Kelli are in a better place together.

Ingle's family talked to ABC15 after the accident happened. They said the two girls were like sisters.

RELATED: GCU community mourned two students killed in east AZ crash

Families for both girls have created GoFundMe pages to help fund causes that were important to them.