Heartbroken family remembers Merced grandmother killed by driver who ran red light

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Carmen Torres Hernandez was taken from her family members in a matter of minutes, leaving them all in shock.

Her husband, Fernando Hernandez Madrigal, says, "I have a broken heart. This is such hard news for me."

Relatives say Carmen loved cooking, sewing, and spending time with her three children, eleven grandchildren, and many friends she made throughout Merced.

Her husband adds, "She had the sweetest heart, a huge heart for everybody."

The 61-year-old went to Walmart Monday afternoon to buy a small amount of fabric to finish a tablecloth she was making.

She was on her way home and making a left turn onto Olive Avenue when police say a 72-year-old man ran a red light, crashing his truck into Carmen's car. First responders tried to save her, but she died at the scene.

Hernandez Madrigal says, "I got to see the car today, how it ended up. My heart is destroyed. I can't believe she's gone."

Now as her grieving family members face the agony of planning a funeral during the holidays, they hope this tragedy will convince other drivers to slow down and pay attention.

Her brother, Augustine Torres, says it's also a reminder not to take the future for granted.

He says, I hope I can take this as a message to tell my kids I love them, my wife, like I said you never know. You leave home, you might not go back."

Family members say Carmen had a fourth child who was killed by a drunk driver who ran him over when he was just five years old, so this is the second time they've experienced heartbreak as the result of car crash.

As for the driver who ran the red light, investigators say drugs or alcohol do not appear to be factors, and he is not facing any criminal charges as this time.
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