KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Friends of a woman killed after a crash during a Kansas City, Kansas police chase say they want justice.
They gathered Thursday evening near the crash site at Independence Avenue and Hardesty in Kansas City, Missouri for a balloon release honoring Gabriela Trejo-Garcia, 44, and Juan Avila, 26.
The pair was killed after 30-year-old Charles Matthews crashed into their car last weekend.
Matthews allegedly carjacked an SUV and was being chased by KCK police when he drove across the state line into Missouri, eventually running a red light and hitting Trejo-Garcia’s car.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Matthews with two felony counts of second-degree murder, resisting arrest and tampering with a motor vehicle. Police say Matthews was traveling 77 miles an hour at the time of impact.
Lizeth Orozco was Trejo-Garcia’s best friend. She said the world lost a kind and gracious person.
“She always had a really big heart. It was always about somebody else and not her. She always looked after everybody,” she said.
Trejo-Garcia also leaves behind three children.
“It’s really hard especially because part of her family is in Mexico. We were planning to go and visit, so it really hurts,” said Orozco. “She has three kids and you can just imagine, the youngest is 10. So now, because of somebody’s actions, she was left without a mom. Somebody was left without a daughter and they left us without a friend.”
Orozco tells FOX4 that Avila didn’t have any family in the U.S. and friends are trying to raise money to have his remains sent to Honduras.
KCK Police Chief Karl Oakman said they have opened an internal investigation to make sure their officers acted accordingly during the chase.