Tragedy is hitting twice. A family says losing their loved one to a DUI crash in Everett is ripping open old wounds. The family is trying to keep it together now that Tony Rubio, the man they described as the glue of the family, is gone.
“He was a very giving person, very loving. We really miss him a lot,” said sister Susan Rubio.
Rubio was killed early Sunday morning. He was driving his pickup truck going west on Madison around 6:15 a.m. Police say a suspected drunk driver in an SUV was heading north on Evergreen Way when he blew through the red light and slammed into Rubio's truck. The crash was so violent, the side of his truck was smashed in and the bed went flying.
Police say the suspect, 29-year-old Alejandro Esiquiel Barajas, ran from the scene and was caught a couple of hours later. Officials say they could smell alcohol on his breath. Barajas had also been previously convicted for DUI back in 2010.
“There are cracks in the system allowing people to be released that shouldn't be released,” Rubio added.
It is a strange twist of fate that Rubio would lose his life at the hands of a suspected DUI driver. Fifteen years ago, his son, Matthew, was killed by one.
Though Rubio’s grandniece Haylee Felker was just 5 at the time, she still remembers Matthew's funeral vividly.
“We’re a big family and we were just standing In this big giant hug and now 15 years later, we are asking why is. Breaks my heart, breaks my family's heart, everyone's heart,” said Felker.
After his son's death, Rubio's family describes him as a crusader against drunken driving, even lobbying legislators for tougher DUI laws. It's something Felker says she will continue to do to honor her uncle's life.
“He deserves more justice. I'm standing at court to fight for his life,” Felker said.
The family says Rubio was on his way home from working his overnight shift at Boeing. He was six blocks away from home when the crash happened.
Barajas is facing charges of vehicular homicide and hit and run. Bail is set at $100,000.
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