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Memorial service for girl killed in car crash

Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 20:53:39-04

Family and friends of Gisela Puerta, the 19-year-old girl who was killed in a car crash, gathered Friday afternoon for a memorial service. Police say the driver of the car that hit her may have been drinking; however, charges are pending as the crash is still under investigation.

She was a friend, a granddaughter, a daughter, who was loved by so many. People say she would light up the room, right from the moment she walked in.

"She would enter the room and fill it with her presence," one family member said at the service. "And no matter how sad you were, she would always make you smile."

One of her proudest achievements was graduating from Santa Rita High School, which is a day one of her cousins says he'll never forget.

"Her future was so bright that day that we all had to wear sunglasses around," he said.

Puerta loved music, according to many of the speakers at the service.

Her friends and family gave her a nickname when she was young. "Chula," which means pretty in Spanish, and it stuck with her the rest of her life. 

Speaking on behalf of the family, one of her cousins -- Misty Rivera -- has a message for everybody: don't drink and drive.

"Think about the people you love," she said. "And don't do it. It's just that simple."

Puerta's boyfriend and friend were also in the car that night, but are expected to be okay. 

Moving forward, Rivera hopes people will look out for each other to make sure this doesn't happen.

"Take care of each other, and don't let this happen to your family," Rivera said.

Puerta's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for costs of the memorial service.