"My brother was the most positive young man that I knew. He lit up the room, like the whole world, just by his smile," said Carla Virgin, Erik Venegas' sister.
Venegas' little brother, said he was a role model.
"He was a big role model to me. He pushed me. He pushed me to do my max. He would always be there for me," said Edgar Venegas.
Erik Venegas was driving alone on SH-249 when he lost control of his Chevy Tahoe and rolled several times. The crash happened just past Wood Trace Boulevard between Magnolia and Tomball.
A yellow sign in the northbound lane indicates, "left lane ends." Investigators say Venegas lost control of his Tahoe about 100 yards past that sign, where the lane abruptly stops.
Investigators say Venegas wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the SUV. It appears he was speeding.
Three of his high school friends were close behind. The group had just gotten ice cream. One who was just behind him on the highway witnessed the crash. The other two friends arrived soon after.
"I just don't know how to feel right now. I'm still in denial," said Kevin Bravo, Venegas' best friend from high school.
Venegas' family says he graduated from Magnolia High School last year and was attending Lone Star College. His sister said he dreamed of becoming a dentist. He was still very close with his high school friends.
The family of an 18-year-old killed in a wreck in Montgomery County Monday night hopes his death serves as a lesson to other teens to buckle up.
"Eric was just a guy that was so full of happiness" Bravo said. "He (Venegas) said that we would always stick together like a family. That we would always try and stay in contact no matter what."
A trauma nurse heading home from work witnessed the accident and tried to revive Venegas but was too late.
Venegas was one of four children.
His family points out that the road is very dangerous, but they hope this tragedy will remind others to always buckle up.
"It was a reckless decision that took his life," said Carla Virgin, Erik Venegas' sister.
In 2013, a man was killed in the exact spot where this crash happened.
Venegas' friends are selling t-shirts in his honor to raise money for funeral expenses.
A GoFundMe page has also been launched to help aid the family in paying for Venegas' funeral.
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