MILWAUKEE — A community is in mourning after a beloved husband and wife died in a crash on Milwaukee’s south side Saturday night. Their family is trying to stick together and stay strong, as they await on charges from prosecutors.
Milwaukee police said just after 8:30 p.m., 48-year-old Luis Contreras and 50-year-old Teresita were driving home when they were struck and killed by a speeding car near 27th and Edgerton. The driver of that other car, a 34-year-old woman, is in custody on four pending felonies.
Two days later, on Tuesday afternoon, friends and family came together for a vigil at the scene of the crash.
Sandra Contreras and her two sisters embraced before walking over to the gathering, honoring their parents.
“I’m still in disbelief. I think we all still are, because it was so sudden,” Sandra said.
Luis and Teresita Contreras were killed Saturday night in a car crash at 27th & Edgerton on #Milwaukee’s south side. @MilwaukeePolice say they were struck by a speeding driver who is now in custody on 4 pending felonies. They leave behind a big family including 3 daughters. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/6D1fe2PpFq— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) October 20, 2020
They’re now remembering their parents’ stories.
“We could only be proud of both my mom and my dad, because without them we wouldn’t be here today,” Sandra said.
Luis and Teresita immigrated to Milwaukee about 27 years ago from Mexico. They couldn’t speak the language, but went to school and learned English.
Eventually, Teresita became an advocate for the Latino community, as a part of the nonprofit, Core El Centro.
“She was a role model for us and our hero,” Sandra said. “She wanted to transcend strength and empowerment to people and I think that's what always kept her going.”
Teresita & Luis Contreras were beloved on the south side, immigrated to #Milwaukee about 27 yrs ago from Mexico, couldn’t speak English. Eventually, Teresita became a community leader advocating for Latinos & working for @coreelcentro. Luis was the backbone of the family @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/U6IryXVYzV— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) October 20, 2020
Their dad delivered produce throughout the area.
Stephanie Contreras said he was a hard worker, who was all about family.
“My dad, he was the backbone of my mom, and he was the backbone of my sisters and I, and without my dad - my mom wouldn't have been able to be there,” Stephanie said.
While there's now a hole in their family, they're making sure to lean on each other and cherish the memories.
“We all want to honor their legacy and continue to move forward, and in strength and joy and in love,” Sandra said.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office said that they have received the case from the police department and are still in the process of reviewing it.
After this tragedy, the Contreras family wants to urge people on the road to pay attention and slow down.