Family remembers loved one killed in suspected drunk driving crash

BAYTOWN, TX (KTRK) -- A family is spending the holiday weekend planning their daughter's funeral after a suspected DUI crash.

Cassandra Jimenez, 20, was in a car with her fiance early Saturday morning when the crash happened at Garth and Decker, which is less than a mile from her home.

Adriana Cortez is Jimenez's aunt. She said the family is struggling to process the loss.

"My heart sank to my feet. It was something that you don't expect because she's so young," Cortez said.

The suspect, Raul Tadeo, tried to run away from the scene and bystanders held him there, according to police. Officers reported having to tase him before getting him into custody.

"I just hope he finds God in his heart and he asks for forgiveness, because our family doesn't want to hold that hatred," Cortez said. "His parents, I know they're in pain. I just want to tell them, it's not their fault."

Court records show Tadeo has several previous charges. His last arrest for charges of failing to stop and render aid was on August 24. He was sentenced to 16 days. It's not clear why he was free at the time of the crash.

Now, the Jimenez family is remembering Cassandra's life.

"She wanted to be a veterinarian and she loved animals. She was a happy person and she wanted to go to school. She had so many plans," Cortez said. "She was there for me. She helped out in anyway she could."

They're also hoping her death serves as a warning to others.

"Don't let this be in vain. I know she's not the first and she's not going to be the last, unfortunately. But I just hope people realize and take conscience," Cortez said.

Funeral arrangements are pending and are expected this week. The community is working to raise money so the family can deal with the unexpected expenses. To donate, CLICK HERE.
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