Church mourns loss of pastor, wife in fatal street racing crash

HOUSTON – Songs and prayers were offered by a congregation mourning the loss of their leader and his wife. 

Sixty-year-old Pastor Jesse Sabillon had been the lead pastor at Nuevo Amanecer Baptist Church in east Houston for 27 years.  He and his wife, Marisa, were supposed to be here Wednesday night leading weekly Bible study.

"It's a loss for the church because it's both the pastor and his wife," says church secretary Ofelia Gomez.  "He's been with us since 1989."

But instead members held a prayer service to honor the couple, who had been married more than 30 years. They were killed Tuesday night leaving the hospital after visiting a niece who had just given birth.

Investigators say the Sabillons were driving on Bammel North Houston North Sam Houston Parkway West when 21-year-old Alexis De La Rosa Sosa ran a red light street racing and struck their BMW with his Chevy pickup.  The Sabillons died at the scene. 

De La Rosa Sosa ran away, investigators said.

Church members say they forgive the young man but advise him to do the right thing.

"Turn himself in with the authorities because it's not a good thing what he did," says church member Marcos Calles.  "He just left the truck and ran away."

Wednesday night's prayer service was about honoring the Sabillons, but also meant to help their loved ones and church members find healing.

"I know that he would want for us to continue the services," says Gomez.  "But today is special because it's a prayer for the family, for all the church members."

If de la Rosa Sosa is arrested, he will likely face a charge of failure to stop and render aid at a fatality crash scene.

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