Family Says Victims in Highway 12 Crash Were ‘Best Friends’

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After five people were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 12 this weekend, family and friends are remembering the victims at a vigil in Sutter Park in Modesto on Monday night.

While many have seen the images of the crash that took her life, family of 17-year-old Aaliyah Buenrostro Martinez want her to be remembered as the girl in their photos, who was so full of life.

"A little rambunctious, she liked to have fun, she would come up to us and just make us laugh," said Martinez's older cousin Sabrina Rodriguez. "We did everything together as a family, you know? I don't have sisters, my cousins are my sisters we do everything together."

"If you were down, she would be like 'hey, what's wrong?' you know? Smile, life's too short to not smile," said Adrian Rodriguez, Sabrina's brother and Martinez's older cousin.

On Saturday night, Martinez, along with her best friend 21-year-old Annalicia "Mona" Montoya, her 3-year-old daughter Adelaynna Ortiz, 2-year-old Ramiro Garcia-Campos and his 19-year-old mother, who the coroner has not yet identified, were all killed in a violent head-on crash along Highway 12 near Rio Vista.

The group was coming back from a friend’s house in Fairfield, according to family.

"It's so hard to know that all these babies are just gone," Sabrina Rodriguez told FOX40.

"There's no ill feelings for nobody, and we're just all coming together, they were best friends," Adrian Rodriguez said.

According to family, Montoya and Martinez were inseparable, and often when you saw one, you saw the other.

"(She would always tell me) 'Me and Mona are going out, go out to eat, go out to the movies,' you know," Adrian Rodriguez recalled.

"They were best friends in life and I 'm sure they are best friends in heaven still," said Ashley Pacheco, Martinez's second cousin.

The oldest of five girls, family told FOX40 Martinez was instrumental in helping her mother take care of her younger sisters.

"She helped her mom, she loved her mom, that was her best friend," said Sabrina Rodriguez.

Along with Monday's vigil at Sutter Park in Modesto, the family said it is also hosting a benefit dinner at the Moose Lodge in downtown Modesto on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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