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Family, friends come together to remember South Tucson family killed in crash

Jose Tanco, Yesenia Brito, Yasmin and Lilian
Posted at 11:48 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 01:48:16-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "I’m going to miss them because they were such a big part of my life and now they’re not," said Brissa Bolivar.

She's the goddaughter of Jose and Yesenia, who were killed in a fatal crash last month in Sonora, Mexico along with their two children, Yasmin and Liliana.

The wake for the family on Thursday was filled with mixed emotions as family, friends, and strangers remembered and celebrated the lives of the family of four.

"It was devastating. I was with my boyfriend and all I could think about was I’m not going to see them anymore, I’m not going to talk to my cousin anymore, I’m not going to do her makeup, I’m not going to see my Nina anymore," Bolivar said.

While describing the impact they had on her life, she said, "They had the biggest hearts. Yasmin, the older one, I’d always do her makeup and I knew what she liked. She was a big part of my life. And my Nina, when I went through medical problems she was always there."

The outpouring of love reflected throughout the room for the family who meant so much to so many.

Family friend Katherine Aparicio, describing the special bond she formed with Yesenia during their time as co-workers, said, "Yesenia always kept it real. She had no qualms about telling you if she disagreed. And she also had no qualms about offering her love and generosity to you too. I think that’s something I’m going to miss about her."

Bolivar said they’ll use this moment to come together as they prepare to lay the family to rest for a final time on March 8th.

"This is going to bring a lot of us close. A lot of our family we haven’t seen in a while, we’re going to be close now. And unfortunately, under these circumstances, that’s what had to happen."

Kenny Darr is a reporter for KGUN 9. He joined the team in January 2023. Before arriving in Arizona he was an Anchor and Reporter at KADN in Lafayette, LA. Share your story ideas with Kenny by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.