By Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

PAUL, Idaho (AP) - A southern Idaho high school student and her teen sibling are trying to balance everyday life with loss months after a drunken driver hit and killed six of their family members in Mexico.

Jazmin Avila Gomez, 19, has been living alone with her 17-year-old brother in the family home in Paul since the February crash, trying to balance school with two jobs, The Times-News reported Monday ( ).

“I don’t sleep good, and it’s hard to keep my focus on school. I’m just trying to keep going and do the best I can for me and my brother,” she said.

The siblings lost their mother, Maria Avila, 53; brother Fizel Avila Gomez, 28; a sister-in-law, Ofelia Avila Gomez, 28; and three young nieces. Injuries to brother Juan Avila Gomez, 23, put him in a coma for two months. He’s continuing to recover.

“He’s just coming out of the coma, and we’re going to have to tell him about what happened,” Jazmin Avila Gomez said. “He’s been asking about our mom and brother.”

She and her brother, Jesus Avila Gomez, 17, had not gone on the trip because of their school and work schedules. She works at Swensens Markets in Paul and for an area day care center and is a senior at Minico High School.

“We’re trying to see if the bank will let us keep (the house),” Jazmin said. “We’re just waiting to see what happens.”

Tracy Haskin, who heard about the teens’ struggles, said she’s trying to get them help. She organized a benefit dinner at First Baptist Church in Paul on April 23.

The family members were traveling in Sombrerete, in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, when the drunken driver crashed into their vehicle.


Information from: The Times-News,

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