Family and Community Mourns Death of Coronado Crash Victims

Hundreds of community members visited Chicano Park Monday night to remember the four people who were killed over the weekend in a horrific crash off the Coronado Bridge.

Family members of the victims were also  among those at the memorial.

Tracy Spungin, is the niece of Cruz Elias and AnnaMarie Contreras.

She told NBC 7, her aunt and uncle were two of the most selfless people you could ever meet. They were enjoying semi-retirement together, helping at-risk children in their community and spending time with their two grandchildren.

"They worked really hard to keep the whole family together and get everyone together for family events. That will be sorely missed, especially now coming into the holidays," Spungin said.

NBC 7’s Omari Fleming heard from the couple’s nephew who described them as the “glue that kept us together.”

The couple were married for 35 years. Both were killed on Saturday when a pick-up truck slammed into the guardrail on the Coronado Bridge and fell about 60 feet into the crowd below. 

AnnaMarie Contreras had worked as an assistant teacher at a local elementary school in Arizona.

"All the children knew her as Mrs. C, and they just really tried to help as many people as they could," added Spungin. "They fostered several young children and they brought them to their homes and tried to provide for them emotionally and with the family life."

She said their family is now searching for answers.

"It's a time of really deep sadness for us," she told NBC 7.

Francine Jimenez and her boyfriend Andre Banks were also killed in the crash. Norma Perez, Jimenez's sister said their mother came to the memorial because she needed to see the place where her daughter took her last breath.

“It was really important to her to be here, to have a little bit of closure in a very difficult situation,” Perez said.

The 46-year old had just celebrated her grandson's first birthday. 

"There's a big, deep hole that my family has because of this event," Spungin said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up by the family to help with funeral costs for AnnaMarie and Cruz Elias Contreras.

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