KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In the early hours of Thanksgiving as many slept, Nelson Guzman, 40, and Norma Erazo, 37, were on their way home from work.
Just before 1 a.m., police said a wrong-way driver under the influence slammed into the couple on I-29 just north of Barry Road.
Guzman's sister, Yani, learned of the tragedy from a friend.
"He was in the better moments of his life, he was happy. This wasn't supposed to happen to him," Yani Guzman said in Spanish on Monday. She broke the news to her parents in Guatemala.
"They were surprised, they couldn't believe it," she said.
Nelson Guzman was the oldest of nine children. He came to the U.S., a decade ago.
First living in Maryland with his brother, Maynor, then moving in with his sister in KCK.
"He was looking for better job opportunities, our country, there aren't a lot of jobs that's why he came here," Maynor Guzman said.
Nelson Guzman met his long-time girlfriend, Norma Erazo, through relatives. She was four-months pregnant at the time of the wreck, according to family members speaking with 41 Action News.
This grief-stricken family has a simple message for anyone who is even thinking of driving drunk.
"It only leaves pain and sadness for a lot of families. Just like what I’m experiencing, what our family is experiencing. There are a lot of people experiencing the same thing," Maynor Guzman said.
The family plans to hold funeral services for both Guzman and Erazo in KCK. Both bodies will be flown and buried in Guatemala.
"My parents are heartbroken because they sent their son with life to this country to make a better future and now they're going to receive him in a box," Yani Guzman said. "For them, it's not easy. They're devastated. They're sad."
Law enforcement said Monday the wrong way driver remains in the hospital, recovering from his injuries. Charges are expected in this case.