TRINIDAD – A candlelight vigil in Trinidad honored a mother, her toddler son and a sheriff’s deputy who died in a car crash last week.
Two Las Animas County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in the crash: one of them passed away and the other suffered minor injuries.
The Trinidad community is still reeling from the loss of 23-year-old Taelor Valdez and her 1-year-old son Ezekiel.
“Nobody expects to lose a 23-year-old, perfectly healthy beautiful young daughter. Much less a baby with it,” said family member Liz Torres.
Valdez’s mother Laurie Anaya is coming to grips with the painful reality.
“We’re hurting. We’re hurting. I lost my daughter and my grandson,” she said.
At least 100 people showed up to Sunday night’s candlelight vigil organized by the All Things 81082 media group.
“I think right now what this family needs is the love and support from the community,” added Torres.
The crowd ranged from neighbors to officials.
City Councilman Anthony Mattie attended, representing the city of Trinidad.
He said he was there “in official capacity to demonstrate our sympathy and condolences and support for the family and friends of the victims in this tragedy.”
Though no one from Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office was there, Anaya’s thoughts are with the late deputy’s family.
“My heart goes out to his family and his loved ones.”
While many questions still linger, one thing is clear to her.
“It’s just a horrific, tragic accident,” she said. “[Taelor] was taken just, horribly. Senseless.”
But she wants everyone to take away the memories of who her daughter and grandson were.
“Just what a beautiful, beautiful girl she was and my grandson, how adorable he was.”
News 5 reached out to Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office for comment but there was no one available.
News 5 also reached out to Colorado State Patrol for any updates on this case but as of this writing, they have not released an accident report.
News 5 keep track of the latest developments and bring you any details as we get them.