ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - Loved ones are mourning an Escondido father of four, killed last weekend by a suspected drunk driver.
“Delfino was an amazing father. He was just a great person,” said sister-in-law Tabitha Jesus.
Delfino Gonzalez was trying to get home on Sunday morning after a lighting and sound technician gig at a San Diego nightclub.
Around 3:30 a.m., his wife got a call from him, saying he had run out of gas on the 15, was close to an exit, and would walk to buy gas.
Jesus says Gonzalez left his cousin, asleep in the car, and began walking.
“They’ve been struggling financially for a while, so it wasn’t atypical for them to not have gas, be running on empty,” said Jesus.
The CHP says a little past 4 a.m., on the northbound lane, just north of Miramar Road, Gonzalez was hit by a Lexus. He would die at the scene.
“When it hit me, I couldn't stop crying,” said Jesus.
The 23-year-old driver was arrested for driving under the influence.
“We are just heartbroken. We don't know how to move on from this,” said a tearful Jesus.
The CHP’s preliminary investigation shows Gonzalez may have been walking within the highway lanes. Jesus doesn't believe it.
“I believe he was on the side of the road. He’d run out of gas several times, and he would be fine. He would know to stay on the side,” said Jesus.
Jesus calls the 39-year-old Gonzalez a devoted husband and father of four, his kids ranging from 4 to 15 years of age.
“He was caring, loving and giving,” said Jesus. “They only lived at their apartment for a few months, and their neighbors were crying and heartbroken. He’s just a good person.”
Jesus says the cause of her family's loss, angers her.
“A drunk driver is the reason I have no have a brother-in-law and the reason why my nieces and nephews no longer have a father, so please think before you get into a car, drunk,” said Jesus.
The driver was identified as 23-year-old Cyrus Peterson of San Diego.
A Gofundme campaign has been started to help the family with funeral and other expenses.