Crash along Mexico's Pacific Coast kills 5 members of Tacoma family, injures 2 more

Crash along Mexico's Pacific Coast kills 5 members of Tacoma family and injures 2 more (KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. -- A head-on crash on a coastal highway in southern Mexico claimed the lives of five Tacoma family members and seriously hurt two more Friday night. Investigators say a speeding drunk driver is to blame.

A close family friend talks about the profound loss and what the public can do now to help.

“It’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe it,” said Natasha Islas. She’s heartbroken that she’s lost her best friend-- a friend she’s known for years.

“She was 14 and I was 15. We were pretty close,” Islas said.

Denisse Gomez of Tacoma and her family went to visit her grandmother over Christmas.

It was the first time in 20 years she was going to Mexico. Gomez said she was excited and the family had posted a four generation photo on Facebook.

But then, a head-on crash involving a suspected drunk driver changed everything.

It happened on a coastal highway between Zihuatanejo and Acapulco on December 29 just a few miles from Denisse’s grandma’s home.

The fiery crash killed Denisse, two of her three children, and her parents.

Denisse's brother 18-year-old Geovany Gomez survived. And so did Denisse's 8-year-old son Luis Zuniga thanks to the kindness of strangers.

“Good Samaritans were able to get to the car before it exploded,” Islas said.

Now, Islas is pleading with the public to help.

“Just trying to help them out financially,” Islas said.

Islas has set up a GOFUNDME page to help with medical and burial costs.

“We need a lot of help. We’re bringing back 5 bodies. It’s the holiday season, plane tickets aren’t cheap," Islas said.

Islas said Denisse was the best mom a good wife, and inspiration to so many others.

“She lived her life to the fullest. That’s for sure,” Islas said.

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