Family speaks after daughter dies from car crash injuries, driver faces DUI
Simone Del Rosario
18-year-old Alicia Deegan dies after fighting injuries from a car crash for a month. The driver of the car faces several felonies, including driving under the influence.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Alicia Deegan graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School in May; she had dreams of studying forensics.
But her mother says all those dreams were left to die on a dusty dirt road in southwest Tuscon.
"My daughter suffered greatly and I miss her very much," Charissa Deegan said.
According to Tucson police, Alicia was in the car with 19-year-old Angel Ruelas on June 23. They say he lost control of the Ford Bronco he was driving. The car rolled and Alicia was thrown; she wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
Investigators said he left the scene but a relative convinced him to come back. One week later, a grand jury indicted him on charges of aggravated assault and driving under the influence.
"If there is a justice, justice will be served," Charissa Deegan said. "There is also a higher power."
Alicia's own sister, Alissa, heard the crash from down the road. She rushed to the scene and gave Alicia CPR. Their mother shares the last words the two girls exchanged.
"I love you, sister; I'll be right back. I love you too, sister. I love you; I'll be right back."
But she would never hear Alicia's voice again. The family says Alicia suffered extensive brain damage. Last week, the family chose to take her off life support.
"There comes a time when a parent has to ask, 'What am I doing to my child?'" Charissa Deegan said. "I had to make the most difficult decision of my life; to let my daughter be set free."
Alicia will be laid to rest on the California coast.
If you would like to help the family with medical and funeral expenses, you can make a deposit at Wells Fargo. The account number is: 8872208486