LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Heather Garcia and friends were celebrating both her cousin's birthday, and her own birthday, on Friday evening, stretching early into Saturday morning, when an absolute tragedy occurred.
Garcia, 29-years-old and set to turn 30 on Monday, fell from the party bus on the 101 Freeway just before 3:00 a.m., where she was struck by another oncoming vehicle in the No. 3 lane of the northbound side of the freeway.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Now, her family is lost without the wife, mother, daughter and sister who was set to turn 30-years-old on Monday. As they remember Garcia for her "stunning smile," they're still searching for answers in the shocking accident.
"She was beautiful everywhere she went," said Garcia's brother Juan, "that was her. That was her attitude and that's how she carried herself."
"The way she went, it wasn't very happy for anybody to see. And that hurts me," said Miguel Garcia, her father.
She was looking forward to her night out, to celebrate getting another year older with her closest friends.
According to Garcia's brother, she was dancing when she tripped and fell out of the bus, "They went out, got the party bus and based on the information I got, she was dancing and she fell... and that was it," he told CBS reporters.
The door to the bus reportedly opened when Garcia fell into it, " I don't know how the door opened. Nobody knows how the door opened. The door shouldn't have opened up," her brother continued.
Friends and family gathered at the Garcia household to pray and remember Heather. As they try to remember the good times, they remain frustrated, especially due to the fact that they paid for a service so that they could safely celebrate.
"They say don't drink and drive, and they went the safe way... it makes no sense," Juan said in regards to the fact that they paid for a service to ensure everybody's safety.
While the investigation continues, authorities have disclosed that the driver of the vehicle that struck Garcia remained on the scene to cooperate.
She leaves behind five children, between the ages of 1 and 10, and her husband, a U.S. Army Veteran who served overseas. He has set up a GoFundMe to aid the family in their difficult time. The GoFundMe can be found by searching for the terms, "Heather Garcia-Tragic accidents claims mother of 5."
The CHP's Central Los Angeles office urged anyone with information about the death to call them at 323-343-0732.
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