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Tucson mom mourns 19-year-old daughter killed in car crash

Posted at 11:01 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 02:06:13-04

TUCSON, (KGUN9-TV) -- How does a parent deal with the death of a child?

That's what has been on the mind of Tucson mom Shannon Puerta. Her 19-year-old daughter, Gisela, was killed in car crash on Saturday night.

"I want people to know how hard it is," Shannon said. "My baby is dead because this guy didn't want to have somebody drive him home. She's dead. She's gone."

Shannon has been a taxi driver on and off for 10 years, and drove by the crash scene Saturday night not knowing her daughter had been killed. Gisela didn't drink or do drugs, and was at a Halloween party with friends.

While the crash is still under investigation and charges are pending, Tucson Police say the other driver involved may have been drinking earlier. Shannon reached out to KGUN9 because she wanted to spread the message -- don't drink and drive.

"I don't want anyone ever to have to bury there child. This is the worst thing I've had to do," Shannon said. "I buried my husband 10 years ago and it wasn't been this bad."

Gisela graduated from Santa Rita High School and had a cosmetology degree through JTED. Shannon says her daughter was responsible, paid for her own car and had her whole future ahead of her.

"She paid everything on time, she saved her money, did what she had to do," Shannon said. "She was trying to better herself every day, for the future. She always thought  about the future."

Shannon says Gisela had been in the car with her boyfriend and roommate. Both of them are expected to be OK.

Gisela's funeral was planned for Friday at 11 a.m. at Bring's Broadway Chapel at 6910 E. Broadway Blvd. 

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the Puerta family.