HOUSTON - A Houston family is sharing their heartbreaking story in hopes of preventing another tragedy this holiday.
On Christmas Eve, 32-year-old Ramon Ramos left his family's Christmas Eve gathering to help a friend. His friend was at a bar and needed a ride home.
After dropping off his friend, Ramon was struck by a drunk driver on the North Loop. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, so far this year, 39 people have died because of an intoxicated driver.
"We see the numbers, but we don't really see the faces every day," said Marisol Ramos, Ramon's sister.
Ramon’s sister and the rest of her family want people to see Ramon's face and hear his voice. He was the worship leader at the family's church, House of Grace.
They also say Ramon was a proud graduate of the University of Houston. They add he fulfilled his life's dream of becoming an architect and worked at the Harris County Department of Engineering.
However, what he will be most remembered for is his calm demeanor, generosity, dependability, and love for this family.
"He was an excellent son. He was always looking after us, his family," said his mother, Ana Ramos, through tears.
"We could always count on him for any situation. And it's not just our family. It was our church, I'm sure his friends," added Marisol.
Houston Police identified 43-year-old Andrea Thimming as the driver who struck Ramon. They report an officer witnessed the crash and saw at least two people exit a car and run away.
Thimming was caught and arrested. Her passenger got away. Houston Police also report Thimming was wanted on several felony warrants in Harris and Fort Bend counties.
"Be careful with your actions," said Daniel, Ramon's younger brother. "You never know who you're going to hurt."
"When you hear about drunk driving accidents on television, you imagine the family's pain. But when you actually feel it, the pain is immeasurable," said Ramon Ramos, Sr., Ramon's father.
The family says what is lifting their spirits the most is hearing how Ramon touched other's lives.
They hope people can write letters to share how they knew Ramon and what he meant to them.
The letters can be dropped off at Ramon's viewing at Houston First Baptist Church at 7401 Katy Freeway on January 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. or at his memorial service on January 8 starting at 1 p.m.