Vigil held for woman killed in freak accident in Downtown Fresno

FOWLER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Family and friends of a young woman killed in a freak accident in Downtown Fresno are trying to grasp the loss of their loved one.

Ana Tapia, 22, was driving on Highway 99 north of Highway 41 on Friday when her car was struck by a wheel that flew off a big rig.

Late Sunday night in a Fowler park, friends and family members reflected on the beautiful but short life of Tapia.

"Ana had the kind of spirit that just touched you. Very kind-hearted person, loving, very intelligent. She always had a smile on her face," said Oriza Hernandez, Tapia's friend.

The Fresno State grad was a peer mentor and tutor for the underprivileged. Her resume boasted a list of clubs and activities where she dedicated countless hours. Now her friends are making sure her positive influence doesn't stop with her death.

"Every chance that we get to help someone we're definitely going to take it just to keep her memory alive because that's what she would do," said Hernandez.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Eusebio Lizama, 35, of Madera was driving a big rig on Highway 99. A wheel from his truck detached and flew across the median, crashing into the roof and driver's side of Tapia's car. It's a horribly timed accident that Tapia's family isn't fully comprehending.

"They're like us, we're in shock. We can't believe she's actually gone. I know it's going to be hard for them," said Monica Carranza, Tapia's friend.

The road was clear and dry Friday, and alcohol or drugs don't appear to be factors in the accident.

"It makes you think twice about what you're doing throughout the day, who you're going to say 'I love you' to because you may just not see them again," said Hernandez.

The CHP is investigating whether issues with the truck played a factor in this accident.

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