AUSTIN (KXAN) — Family and friends held a vigil in Northeast Austin on Saturday evening for a man who died on Tuesday after his truck was hit by a driver who authorities say was intoxicated.
At the site of the crash at Harris Branch Parkway and East Parmer Lane, family members lit candles and released black and white balloons to remember Johnny Viera, 44.
Viera’s brother, Randy, says this vigil was for Johnny to know his family and friends will continue to push for him to stay alive in their hearts and their minds.
“It was never a dull moment with him,” Randy said. “He used to always tell me I was the strong one. I was our family’s backbone, and little do I know, without him, I’m falling apart.”
“He was the strong person of the family, and it’s not going to be the same,” Sandra Halloran, Johnny Viera’s girlfriend said.
Austin police say Marco Oliva-Quevedo, 27, was going eastbound on East Parmer Lane when he ran a red light and t-boned Viera’s truck. Despite Viera having his seat belt on, he was ejected and died at the scene.
Oliva-Quevado’s five-year-old son, Leyland Oliva, died at the hospital and another passenger in his car is still recovering in the hospital. Oliva-Quevado is charged with murder and intoxication manslaughter.
“I mean it’s that simple, you can’t drink and then go drive,” Randy said. “I mean nothing was good about this.”
Viera’s family has setup a site to raise funds for his funeral.
The case is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call APD Vehicular Homicide Unit detectives at 512-974-5594.