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Friends memorialize West Valley City woman killed in hit-and-run crash by roommate

Local News

WEST VALLEY CITY (ABC4 News) – Friends of 36-year-old Tequila Garcia gathered at her home Sunday night to memorialize her in a candlelight vigil. She was killed in a hit-and-run crash in front of her house earlier that morning.

West Valley City Police said they received a call around 2 a.m. at 2855 W. 3785 S. for a hit-and-run. Upon arrival, they said they found her Garcia’s body lying in the road.

“Medical attempted life-saving efforts, which were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at the scene,” said Lt. Amy Maurer with West Valley City Police.

Sunday afternoon, WVC Police arrested Andres Mendoza, 24, and Alejandra Molina, 24 and charged them with criminal homicide in Garcia’s hit-and-run case.

According to probable cause statements, Mendoza and Molina got into an argument with Garcia over money. All three of them were roommates.

The documents said, “During the argument, [Mendoza] and his girlfriend started moving out of the residence because of the argument. [Mendoza] waited until his girlfriend backed her vehicle out of the driveway and then he started backing out of the driveway. As [Mendoza] was backing out of the driveway, he heard [Garcia] still yelling at him. [Mendoza] felt his vehicle hit [Garcia] from behind. [Mendoza] said he lost control of the clutch and his vehicle sped up into a bump in the road where he saw [Garcia]. [Mendoza] and his girlfriend quickly drove away without rendering aid or calling for help.”

At Garcia’s candlelight vigil, her friends said Garcia took Mendoza and Molina into her home and gave them a place to stay. They expressed disbelief that the suspects could leave Garcia behind in the road.

“She took these people in to her home and they had no regards for her life,” said Jenav Adams. “She cared about everybody. It didn’t matter what you had been through. She didn’t judge you. She took care of her people.”

“People argue and bad things happen. But to take it to that extent and know what you did and just leave her. I’ll never understand that,” said Larisa Durazo.

“She was just a wonderful woman and I don’t know how someone could do this to her,” said Cielo Gameros.

Friends described Garcia as a strong, outgoing, and selfless woman. Adams said she has fought cancer twice.

“She would do everything for everybody and she had such a big heart. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful heart,” said Durazo. “She just has people who love her from everywhere. We don’t even know each other and we’re all here (at the vigil). She brought a lot of people together.”

Gameros said she will dearly missed by those who knew her.

“She was like a sister,” said Gameros. “It will be different to not be able to see her face, hear her talk, hear her laugh, not seeing her at our family events or parties. It’s going to be different and it’s going to hurt a lot.”

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. If you would like to contribute, visit https://www.gofundme.com/tequila-gracia-memorial-fund.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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