A Phoenix family of three was among the six people killed Monday night in a 25-car pileup in New Mexico near the Arizona state line, the day before the couple’s second wedding anniversary.
Their love was quick and deep.
Susana Caraveo had barely seen, much less spoken to, Jose Elias Caraveo-Serrano before gushing to a family member that he was the one. He felt it, too.
They were engaged within five months of meeting, married within the year. Little Julissa arrived nine months ago.
“Nothing made Suzy happier than marrying Jose and having baby Julissa … She was the apple of their eyes,” Carmen Quezada, Susana’s mother, said in Spanish.
“My heart is so heavy. How can it be mended?”
The Phoenix family of three was among the six people killed Monday night in a 25-car pileup in New Mexico near the Arizona state line. A dust storm abruptly blew in on Interstate 10 near Lordsburg, New Mexico, around 5 p.m. Monday.
Jose, 30, Susana, 29, and baby Julissa had been driving home from a family member’s nuptials at the time of the crash.
“It’s so horrible and we are heartbroken, even more so today because today is their 2-year wedding anniversary,” said Marissa Nevarez Quezada, Susana’s sister.
“My heart just can’t accept it, it cannot be true,” said Blanca Caraveo, Jose’s aunt. “He cherished everything about Suzy and the baby.”
Carmen Quezada said that, amid the grief, she was clinging to the “most romantic love story” between her daughter and son-in-law.
“I will miss joking with my cousin and his beautiful bride,” Patricia Velasquez, Jose’s cousin, said in Spanish. “If you saw them together, and how in love they were, you would tear up just watching them.”
Jose and Susana first met at a rodeo on June 28, 2014.
“She was riding her horse in honor of our grandfather,” sister Marissa said. “When she came back to the stables, all she said was, ‘I found the love of my life.'”
“She was just gushing over him, but she hadn’t even said one word to him yet,” said Maria Elena Quezada, Susana’s aunt.
Quezada said she encouraged Susana to go talk to him, “but before she got up the courage to do so, he had found her already” and asked her on a date.
“When he came back to the camp after meeting Suzy, he just would not stop going on about how beautiful she was,” said Jose’s cousin, Patricia Velasquez.
He said it was her smile that drew him in. The couple hadn’t spent a day apart since the rodeo, Velasquez said.
Family members said that, when Julissa was born, it only deepened their love for one another, and brought family members back together after many years apart.
“Baby Jul is the most precious thing to all the family,” Velasquez said. “She mended many hearts in the family to not be so hard.”
Julissa is now an angel, Carmen Quezada said.
“She was an angel here on earth, and now our guardian angel in heaven,” Quezada said. “She made my soul smile.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up for burial expenses.
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