ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — A family is mourning a 16-year-old Denver girl who lost her life in a single-car crash early Saturday morning.
The crash happened on eastbound Interstate 70 at Interstate 76.
The family of the victim, Mariah Trujillo, said the driver was someone Mariah didn’t know. The driver tried to switch highways at the last minute, causing the rollover crash. All passengers were ejected, but only Mariah died.
Her grandfather, Ron Garcia, said Mariah was loved by anyone she came into contact with and had a good head on her shoulders.
“It’s hard every time you think about it. She was only 16, and everyone who knew her loved her,” Garcia said.
‘She’s only 16’
Her father died four years ago, leaving her grandfather to step into that role. He told FOX31 she was like a daughter to him, even recently asking her grandfather for his approval of her new boyfriend.
Garcia held back tears telling the story.
“I was surprised, but I was honored that she would think of me that way to ask my permission. But that’s the way she was, but that’s the kind of person she was,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he spoke with an officer who broke the news the night of the crash.
“He asked, ‘Are you the grandfather of Mariah Trujillo?’ And I said yes. And he said, ‘She’s deceased,’ and I go, what? And I couldn’t believe it. She’s only 16. What happened?” Garcia said.
The family’s Christian faith is important to them and is something helping them through this difficult time.
“She loved Jesus and she wanted to be baptized. In her heart she was, and God knew her heart. And what I feel today is that I need to stay true in my walk with the Lord so that I can be with her for eternity,” Garcia said.
With this being so unexpected. the family said they are struggling to give Mariah a proper funeral and celebration of her life. They have a GoFundMe set up. You can find that fundraiser here.