The family of a 75-year-old woman killed in a crash on Sunday is facing their first Christmas without her.
To Cecilia Diaz, family was everything. Diaz had four daughters, 12 grandchildren and great-grandkids.
“That was her favorite thing when all of us could be in the same room at the same time,” said her daughter Maribel Vargas Diaz.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Diaz was killed when a red light runner smashed into her car Sunday afternoon in Spring Hill.
“Since I heard the news I can hear my mother’s voice saying be strong, I need you to be strong for the family. She didn’t want anybody to cry,” her daughter said.
The crash happened at the intersection of Landover Boulevard and Mariner Boulevard. Her family said she was on her way home from church.
Diaz was going to cook up one of her famous rice dishes for Christmas Eve dinner. Instead, her family is dealing with a tragic blow.
Jhamile Scott, one of her granddaughters, says her grandmother was full of love.
“It could be someone she met where she lived or family members or someone in a grocery store, she was just loving to everyone,” Scott said.
Her daughter says the plan now is to celebrate her mother’s life.
“We are going to celebrate everything she has done for us," her daughter said. "What she has done for our children. What she has done for our family.”
Diaz was a teacher’s aide for many years and loved to volunteer her time too. She was also very involved with her church and was there every Sunday.
Florida Highway Patrol officials say the crash investigation could take a while. After that the driver that hit Diaz could face charges.