Grandmother Of Chapin High Football Player Dies In Amarillo A Week After Wreck

Deadly Wreck Claims A Second Life

EL PASO, Texas - The crash that resulted in the death of Pasodale Elementary teacher, Hector Perales, has now claimed a second life.

The Perales family told ABC-7 Belinda Vasquez, 72, died at a hospital in Amarillo, Texas Friday morning. She is Perales' mother-in-law.

The family was on its way to Amarillo last Friday to see Chapin High School's playoff game. Hector's son, Elijah Perales, is a senior at Chapin and a member of the football team.

Elijah's uncle, Willie Vasquez, said his father, Elijah's grandfather, was driving a van when the family came upon a jackknifed semi truck west of Vega, Texas. A powerful winter storm hit the Texas Panhandle that day.

"Oh my God! Dad slow down. Don't hit the brakes. Just steer it the best you can," said Willie as he recounted the wreck that killed his mother.

Willie said the van slid on black ice and crashed into the back of the jackknifed semi truck.

Soon after they crashed into that semi, Willie said the family saw another semi sliding right for them. The second impact pinned the legs of Hector's wife, Alma.

Willie said his brother-in-law took off his seat belt in order to help Alma.  It wasn't long before another semi truck collided with the semi that rear-ended the van. Hector and Alma were thrown out of the van, Willie said.

"These massive impacts from these tractor trailers," said Willie, "You know how heavy they are when they're fully loaded. (We weren't) expecting to get continuously hit by these vehicles."

Willie said his mother Belinda suffered a broken neck. His father was also injured and is still at an Amarillo hospital.

Hector's brother, Richard Perales, flew from El Paso to Amarillo Saturday morning to break the news to Elijah after his game. "I did not  know what I would tell him," said Richard, "God was with us."

Richard told ABC-7 his nephew was strong.

The Perales family wants to establish an endowment at Pasodale in Hector's name. "As a legacy to him and his love for teaching, an endowment will be set up to assist the children at Pasodale Elementary," said the family.

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