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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City-area family is grieving after unexpectedly losing a loved one in a crash. Police believe the man that hit their family members was driving drunk.

Before moving to Las Vegas, Antonio Zabala lived in downtown Kansas City at the Walnut Tower. Family said he would bike from the Walnut Tower to the Argosy Casino where he worked in the kitchen as an incredible chef. 

“Antonio was our rock,” his sister Alisia Perez said. 

Perez and Zabala’s sister Ariana Zabala loved their brother. They said he was the glue in their family. 

Antonio grew up in Olathe. He was a star running back at Olathe East High School. His sisters said he was small, stocky and the fastest one out there. He went on to play football at Fort Scott Community College. Perez said her brother wanted to be a football player.

But the 36-year-old found a way to combine his two passions — culinary arts and football. Perez said most recently he was working banquets for the NFL. He got to meet Andy Reid and received and autographed Kansas City Chiefs helmet. 

Zabala and his girlfriend of 10 years, Karina Lopez, moved to Las Vegas four months ago. He was working as an executive sous chef at the Westin Hotel, Perez said, and getting his masters degree. 

“It wasn’t something he would talk about. It was something he just did,” Perez said.

That drive, those dreams were cut short when Zabala and Lopez were hit and killed while riding bikes. The man behind the wheel is suspected of drunk driving.

“A lot of anger,” Perez said. “Sadness isn’t even — that’s an understatement. It’s just tragic.”

Police said the man who caused the crash is Marco Benitez. The 27-year-old was arrested on multiple DUI-related charges. 

“It says a lot about his character and a lot a out the influence that he was around as well, that there was just nobody to stop this person,” Perez said. “That’s just somebody who thinks like that they’re OK to drive. They’re a danger to society, honestly.”

Prior to hitting Zabala and Lopez, police said Benitez rear-ended a car. After he left the pair lying in the street, investigators said Benitez caused a multicar pile-up. 

“Watching my brother lifeless in a hospital bed, like unable to respond, it’s really traumatizing as the baby of the family because that was my everything,” Ariana Zabala said.

Antonio was also a father to a 13-year-old son. They’ll remember how he tried to ease people’s burdens and be a friend.

“Just a really generous, genuine guy,” Ariana Zabala said. 

Their mom is currently in Las Vegas trying to bring his remains back home. If you would like to help this family, they’ve set up a GoFundMe page.