Weslaco teen killed by truck while getting the mail called an 'angel'

Maria Cecilia Lopez // Weslaco High School Photo

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper marks the spot where a 17-year-girl was hit and killed by a pickup truck while getting the mail from outside her Weslaco-area home.

Carlos Ramirez said he witnessed the crash.

"I saw that there was a young girl by the street and the next thing I saw was somebody flying on the shoulder," he said.

Maria Cecilia Lopez was the teen hit by the vehicle, according to Johnny Hernandez, D.P.S. spokesman.

The driver of the pick-up truck also rammed into a utility pole and knocked out power in the area while heading southbound on FM 88 near Mile 12.

Investigators said the person behind the wheel was believed to be intoxicated.

"We've got a preliminary investigation that he's probably involved with some substance or alcohol just by when we talked to him," Trooper Hernandez said.

Hernandez says the driver faced a mandatory blood test at the Harlingen hospital where he and a female passenger were taken with non-life threatening injuries.

Benigno Castro had a message for the person who took his niece's life.

"You took away the life of the whole family," he said. "God is there. He'll judge you. If you were drunk, I'm sorry, but what can we do?"

Maria used to be the lead anchor and did morning announcements with the Weslaco Independent School District's television station while in middle school, according to Diana Granados Cepeda, former teacher at B. Garza Middle School.

Maria was set to graduate from Weslaco High School as a senior.

Benigno said her loved one will never get to experience the joy and happiness of that big day.

"She had her whole life in front of her," he said. She was an angel.

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