‘We are still asking for prayers:’ Family mourning loss of three relatives killed in Edinburg crash

By: Sarah Cervera

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A family is asking for prayers and justice following the loss of three of their own.

Emcee Velasquez lost her great niece, Ellieana Santoy, in a crash that happened on Monday night in Edinburg.

Santoy would’ve turned two years old on Saturday.

“Instead of my niece being able to plan her birthday party this week on Saturday, she is having to plan for her funeral,” Velasquez said. “They have a newborn to raise, and now they have to mourn their baby girl.”

PREVIOUS STORY: Suspected drunk driver in fatal Edinburg crash identified

Santoy was killed along with her grandma, great grandma and cousin in a crash that the Edinburg Police Department said was caused by a suspected drunk driver who drove into oncoming traffic — and slammed head on into the van Santoy and her family were in.

Edinburg police identified the driver of the minivan as 50-year-old Luz Aurora Casado. Casado died at the scene and was Santoy’s grandmother, according to a news release.

Casado’s mother — Maria Guadalupe Zavala Casado, 68 — was also in the vehicle and succumbed to her injuries at the hospital.

The only person to survive the crash was 10-year-old Shailey Rachel Martinez, who is on life support at DHR Health in Edinburg, Velasquez said.

“She was still in critical condition, she’s still fighting for her life,” Velasquez said of her niece, adding that she and her family are hoping she pulls through.

Martinez’s injuries are severe, Velasquez said.

“They had to stop the bleeding and she wasn't really responsive,” Velasquez explained. “So they believe she might be brain-dead."

The family is praying for a miracle, and hope others will too to save this family from having to cope with another loss.

“We are still asking for prayers so she can get better,” Velasquez said. “We never thought it would hit close to home, and especially not with one of our little nieces, whose life just started.”

Velasquez said her family is planning the funeral for the three people killed in the crash, and hope to see charges filed against the suspected drunk driver soon.

The driver, identified as 46-year-old Sheng Li Jiang, is expected to be charged with intoxication manslaughter once he’s released from the hospital, police said.


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