Family of man killed on Anthony Gap says he was going to see his parents before crash

Andres Rayos, 22, of El Paso, Texas died in a crash along N.M. 404 (Anthony Gap) Highway on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Credit: Rayos Family)

The family of a young man killed in last week’s fiery three-car crash is speaking out for the first time.

Andres Rayos, 22, died last Thursday after his car was hit by a reckless driver who attempted to pass him on New Mexico 404. His family says although his life was taken so tragically, they want people to know that he is more than just a victim but a man who made a difference.

“Andy,” as his family and friends called him, was on his way to visit his parents in Northeast El Paso Thursday afternoon before he was killed.

A resident of Las Cruces, he would take the Anthony Gap as his road of choice. His brother says he was anxious for the family to meet the newest addition to the family, his Siberian Husky puppy.

Police are investigating whether the dog may have been in the car with Rayos.

His younger brother, Adrian, says Andy was always happy no matter what the situation. He loved to sing and dance and had hopes of going back to school and even wanted to pursue a modeling career.

“I know for a fact that he was the epitome of the perfect brother, of the true citizen and he was always there even though not physically, he was always there,” said Adrian.

His family said he was always a hard worker, putting his family first before himself.

"He has a lot of goals in life and plans that unfortunately, he won't be able to do,” said Brenda Rayos, his aunt.

His family said no matter what the situation, Andy was always smiling, dancing and singing.

“Every time he would come over, he would be in the car or we would be in the house, he would be singing and we would just sing along to anything that came out on the radio,” said Adrian.

At this time, the family says they are dealing with an additional struggle and that is laying Andy to rest. They are still awaiting a positive DNA confirmation due to the extent of his injuries in the crash.

The driver and the passenger of the third vehicle are expected to be OK. They were taken to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces with non-life threatening injuries.

As for Jeramy Lucero, the man accused of causing the crash, New Mexico State Police says he was released until his next court appearance. Carl Christiansen with NMSP said they are awaiting blood test results to see whether he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Andy’s family says that they hope his story will prevent others from drinking and driving.

“I just want people to think before they do things because there are just so many things that happen because people choose the obvious decision which is wrong,” said Adrian.

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