SAN ANTONIO - Family members are grieving after a young service member from San Antonio was killed by a suspected drunk driver in the Rio Grande Valley.
Cassie Perez, 19, was on her way to visit her fiancé last week in the city of Donna. She was driving from Fort Hood, where she'd been stationed for the past year.
It was around 1 in the morning on Friday, February 15th, in the city of Edinburg, when police say Cassie was hit by a brown 2003 Ford Mustang while trying to push her stalled car to the side of the road.
"Her two tires blew out," said Eric Favella, Cassie’s stepfather. "And that’s when she got struck. I was told she died at the scene."
Cassie's parents got the phone call in the middle of the night.
"That’s something no parent ever wants to hear," Favella said.
"It’s like one bad dream that just hasn't ended yet," echoed cousin Austin Tijerina.
"When my dad told me, I did not want to believe it," said Natalia West, Cassie’s stepsister. "She was just so young. She was going to turn 20 years old."
The 2017 Sam Houston grad would come home to San Antonio when she could. Her most recent visit took place over Christmas.
"I didn't think that would be the last time I'd see her," West said.
Police have identified the driver of the Mustang that hit Cassie as Edward Magallan, 25. He’s now charged with intoxication manslaughter.
"She’d just started her life," West said through tears while talking about her younger sister. "And now her life is over because a drunk driver decided to drive that night."
"Please get help going home," Favella reiterated. "Get Uber, Lyft, or a taxi. Do not cause sorrow for your family or for others."
Cassie's funeral will be held Thursday, February 28th, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. She will then be buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, with an arrival and committal service beginning at 1:30 p.m.