ONTARIO (CBSLA) — An Ontario family is in deep pain and shock over the loss of a 23-year-old mother of two young children.

“She was like the root of our family, and now that she’s gone, I don’t know if we can deal with it,” the woman’s brother James Scott said. “I don’t know if we’re going to get through it.”

Hillary Hicks was driving home from work late Christmas night when she was rear-ended on the 60 freeway in Jurupa Valley. Fernando Dominguez saw the speeding Toyota that hit her.

“He flew past me and before you know it, I see headlights going sideways and I see the headlights disappear,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez says the minivan didn’t stop. So he pulled over and went to Hicks’ vehicle which ended up upside down on the embankment below the freeway. Hicks had been thrown from the vehicle. She later died at the hospital.

mom Family Devastated After Hit And Run Collision Kills Mother Of 2 Children

“It’s heartbreaking…I thought to myself, what if this was my sister, it could be my mom,” Dominguez said.

The CHP tracked down the abandoned Toyota farther down the freeway and later arrested the driver, 30-year-old Jude Vargas of San Bernardino. The family says Vargas had gone to the police department, to claim his minivan had been stolen.

“I hope he gets the maximum sentence there is for it, because nothing can replace my sister,” Scott said.

Hicks leaves behind two young children. The family says 1-year-old Mia is too young to realize what’s happened. But they say they’ll tell the kids how special their mom was and also how much they appreciate the man who was there with her at the end.

“I’ll be forever in debt to him for what he did because, I don’t want my sister to die alone,” a distraught Scott said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses. Vargas is due in court Thursday.


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