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Packed Memorial For Teen Girls Killed By Suspected Drunk Driver

Published On: May 03 2012 11:15:41 AM CDT
Updated On: May 04 2012 12:19:20 PM CDT
ALAMOSA, Colo. -

Close to two thousand people gathered in Alamosa Thursday to remember three teens killed by a suspected drunk driver.

There was standing room only in the Alamosa High School gymnasium. At the front of the gym were two caskets and an urn surrounded by flowers and pictures of Anisa Montoya, 18, Serina Mascarenas, 14, and Selena Sena, 14.

"It's been really hard," said Janet Aguilar, who went to school with Anisa. "Because it's so small here, we've all known them and basically grown up with them. So we've all been affected greatly."

The girls had just attended an outreach service at The Door Christian Fellowship Church in Pueblo Saturday night when police said Gilbert Sanchez sped through a stoplight at up to 100 mph and crashed into their car. Gilbert was arrested on charges including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and driving under the influence.

Anisa was senior class president at Alamosa High, Serina was an eighth grader at Mosca's Sangre de Cristo School and Selena was in eighth grade at Ortega Middle School.

"It's really emotional and sad over there," said Adrianna Montano of Ortega Middle School.

"In the eighth grade hall, it's quiet without (Selena)," said Bianca Meave.

The memorial service was lead by Anisa's father, a pastor, who started the service with a praise song he said was one of the girls' favorites.

Through their heartache, mourners agreed that the community has found strength in each other.

"The community and long-lost friends and family members are getting together, talking to each other and bonding back together," said Anthony Lopez, Anisa's cousin.

"I think it's a good thing for our community," said Vanessa Valdez, a friend of Anisa. "It just helps everyone to cope and to heal better. Because you can't do it alone."

A memorial fund has been set up San Luis Valley Federal Bank. Donations can be made to the "Selena, Serina and Anisa Memorial Fund" by calling 719-589-6653 or sending donations to 401 Edison Avenue, PO Box 780, Alamosa CO, 81101.

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