Family in mourning after mother of 3 died in crash on Memorial Day

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- A family in mourning, after a young mother of three is killed in a car accident that shut down traffic from Buckeye Road to the I-17 on Monday.

According to Phoenix Police officials, a van failed to stop at a stop sign along 19th Avenue, and that set off a chain reaction crash.

The family is still trying to process what happened to 24-year-old Denise Cruz. Cruz leaves behind three kids, including her infant daughter, who is still in the hospital recovering from the crash.

Cruz was just 24 years old.

"I didn't want to believe that it was the van," said Denise's aunt, Angela Cruz. "Random car because it was so smashed up. Couldn't recognize it. I don't want to believe it. I still don't believe it."

On Tuesday, Denise's aunt shared what kind of person Denise was.

"I want her to be remembered as a fun, loving girl," said Angela. "All of us loved her, and she loved her babies."

Moments before the crash, Denise was dropping off her boyfriend at his apartment. He heard the entire crash happen right behind him.

"I looked back and ran towards the scene, and that's when I see Denise totaled in the van with her eyes wide open," said George Carrillo.

Now, he's left to raise their children without their mother.

"I got to stay strong for these little girls and do what's right for them," said Carrillo.

Four other people were slightly hurt in this crash, including a 3-year-old child. In the meantime, the Cruz family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.

GoFundMe for Denise Cruz