Families Mourn Loss of Teens Killed in Tragic Escondido Crash

The families of two teenagers killed in a horrific crash Sunday night are finding it tough to deal with losing their loved ones.

Brandon Contreras, 19, and Ana Lira, 19, died when the Ford Mustang they were in was hit by a Dodge Charger at the intersection of El Norte Parkway and Ash Street, east of Interstate 15.

Contreras, the driver, and Lira, a passenger, were two of three people riding in the Mustang that was left mangled by the collision just a few blocks from the Lira family's home.

A roadside vigil of flowers and candles grew on the corner of the intersection Monday night.

Jesus Beltran, Conteras' brother, struggled to find words to describe the grief he was feeling.

“I don’t wish it on anyone else. Losing a brother, it’s not cool," Beltran said.

Beltran described his brother as an "awesome guy" who loved cars. He said if you pointed to a car on the street, Brandon could tell you everything about it, from what year it was made to the specifics of its engine.

"There are no words to describe what I’m feeling right now," Beltran said as he looked down at the sidewalk shrine. "Seeing this right here breaks my heart."

Meanwhile, the Lira family is also distraught over the loss of its oldest child.

Her family and friends described her as a smart, hard-working young woman who went to college and worked two jobs to make improvements to her beloved car. The car now sits outside their home, the last place Lira parked.

Her sister, Jasmin Lira, remembered what made her so special.

“Always there for you when you’re in hard times. Easy to talk to, a little bit of sass. But always the nicest one here,” she said.

The willingness to help others proved true when in 2015, the family’s garage started on fire, spread to the home and destroying everything.

Ana set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her parents, who are both deaf, to recover from the loss.

“They don’t have the smoke detectors that told them, so he just smelled smoke and opened, so it just got worse. Smoke just damaged everything,” explained family friend, Alicia Reyes.

Now, a family is left trying to understand another tragedy.

“Looking at her car, I’m like, 'Oh she’ll be back in a bit.' But, she’s not coming,” added Jasmin Lira.

An online fundraising page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.  

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