A San Diego mom’s life was lost in a tragic turn of events after dinner with family in the Central Valley.
Ana Zuniga turned 27-years-old on May 6. Just one week later, on May 13, her family and friends’ happiness turned to heartache.
“Family is everything to me and my family has been torn apart," said Roger Flores, a close family friend of Zuniga.
Zuniga, a single mother of five children, was killed in a drunk driving crash after leaving dinner with her family in Tulare County. Her family left the restaurant in one car--Zuniga ended up riding with Jesus Suazo.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Suazo was driving under the influence on Highway 99 when he veered off the road and slammed into some farm equipment.
Zuniga died after she was ejected from the car.
“She left behind five beautiful angels,” Flores said through tears.
Flores and his fiancé Yvette Magana have taken in Zuniga's children, all between the ages two to 11-year-old.
They say it’s been tough explaining to the children what happened to their mom.
“When they see a picture of her, they say 'Mommy! Mommy!' And it’s hard for us to stay strong," Flores said.
Flores and his fiancé said they are vowing to keep Zuniga's spirit alive for her children.
Magana told NBC 7, it was Zuniga's kindness that helped them become friends two years ago.
“Everything about her made me feel completely at home,” she said.
But it's the love Zuniga had for her kids and the compassion she had for others that Magana said she will never forget.
“ I was having a hard time that day and I told her 'Thanks for taking care of me,'" Magana told NBC 7. "She said 'That’s what I do for the people I love.' And I’ll never forget the words she told me.”
An GoFundMe page has been set up to help her children.