Family members identified a 23-year-old woman who was killed in a wrong-way crash over the weekend.

On Sunday at about 12 a.m., Michelle Baez texted her brother that she was on her way home, but she never made it back.

“She was just so young. She had so much ahead of her,” Desdeny Barrera, her cousin, said. “We are the same age. I have a baby. I wish I would have seen her have her own kids, you know?”

Baez was in the passenger seat of a car when deputies said a wrong-way driver crashed into them on the East Freeway near Freeport. The wrong-way driver also died, leaving the family with mixed emotions.

“Maybe I would have wanted him to still be alive so he could pay for what he did, but you know only God knows why he also passed,” Barrera said.

According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the wrong-way driver, who has not been identified yet, was most likely intoxicated. The captain on the scene said intoxication is the leading factor for fatal crashes on our roadways, accounting for more than 50% of the cases they investigate.

“I am shocked, mad at the fact that because of this person who might have been intoxicated, my cousin is not here,” Barrera said. “Michelle was a very outgoing person. She always looked out for us. She was caring, loveable, (and) just the life of the party.”

Before the crash, deputies say they got several calls about the reckless driver traveling in the wrong direction. Barrera said she can’t help but think, “What if they found him sooner?”

“So, I feel like that could have been prevented,” Barrera said.

Baez, who is the oldest of five, will be remembered for her big personality and love for her family and friends. Her cousin is urging drivers to think twice and be cautious before more innocent lives are lost.

“Think twice that you could probably be the next person. You can kill someone by just driving intoxicated or even going through the speed limit,” Barrera said.

The family created a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

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