PASADENA, Texas – Melina Garcia and her family spent the morning at IHOP.
The mother of three says her middle son, David, loved their pancakes. He also brought her there for Mother’s Day. The family said they wanted to do what he enjoyed before his funeral.
“It still kind of feels like he’s at his friends’ house and we’re just waiting for him to snap out of it and come home,” said Daniel Castillo Jr. as he talks about his stepson, David Joshua Bocanegra.
The 17-year-old Northbrook High School student was killed in a crash on Memorial Day weekend by a wrong-way driver who Pasadena police believe was intoxicated.
“We’re miserable. We are,” Castillo Jr. said. “I just want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. No other parent needs to suffer like Melina is suffering.”
The medical examiner’s office identifies the wrong-way driver as Virginia Lazo. Pasadena Police’s Lt. James Holt said the driver was coming from Houston on 610 when she entered 225 near Scarborough Lane around 1:45 a.m. Saturday, hitting David and his two friends.
Investigators said the rising senior wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and died on the scene. The driver, Lazo, also died on the scene. One of David’s friends, according to his family, is still in the hospital.
Holt said Houston police were searching for the wrong-way driver but didn’t find her.
“She was traveling a good rate of speed down the freeway, and right when she entered our jurisdiction, she went head-on with another vehicle,” he said.
“Charges could be filed on somebody, especially if they trace it back to a business or person who may have served them alcohol when they weren’t supposed to by law,” said Lt. Holt. “Our job is to leave no stone unturned to find out exactly what happened in order to get the victim’s family some sort of peace and closure in this horrific tragedy.”
Castillo Jr. said he wants someone to be held accountable.
“Anybody who can verify that this woman did not need to be on the road and to make a change to anybody who just might leave the bar drunk,” said Castillo Jr.
He said the family can hardly bear being inside their north Houston home without David.
“He loved playing games. We used to hear him just yelling at the game. It was so hilarious. And now, it’s too quiet in here,” he said. “We don’t even go upstairs no more, we stay in the living room.”
The family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with expenses for David’s funeral.