SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - A South Bay family is mourning the loss of two relatives.
61-year-old Carina Kubow and her 92-year-old mother Angela Bontilao were on their way home from church when the vehicle they were in was struck by a drunk driver.
Family members described Carina and her mother as the glue of their large and loving family. Their sudden deaths came as a shock.
"It's a huge loss. The two women were very much the central part of the family. A lot of people relied on them.
They kept the family together, “says Estela Ramirez. a relative of the women.
Alberto Bontilao, the grandson of Angela and nephew of Carina shared with us this selfie he took just a few days ago with his beloved grandmother.
"They pretty much raised me. My mother died when I was only 5-years-old. Auntie Carina took over as the motherly role," says Alberto.
At 11:30 Thursday night, the mother and daughter celebrated Holy Thursday by visiting seven churches. The last was Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara. The practice is a Filipino tradition leading up to Easter.
The women rode in the back seat of a car driven by a family member who survived as did the front seat passenger, also a relative.
The CHP says the other driver a 26-year-old Sunnyvale man, was drunk as he was speeding and lost control of his Mercedes when he took the Great America Parkway exit from northbound Highway 101 crashing into the car the women were in head-on.
"It was a senseless act. It wasn't a fair way for them to go," says Estela.
The family says it's a reminder to show loved ones appreciation.
"I think it's important that daily we say I love you to our relatives ...our families. Give them a hug and always thank them for what they've done," says Alberto.
The family has a message for drunk drivers.
"It's not just the victims. It's everybody else around them the victims' family and friends who care for them," says Estela,"
They had so much life, did so much for their community so much for their families. It's going to be felt."
The family tells KTVU the driver of the car the women were in has been released from the hospital.
The front seat passenger remains in ICU, but is expected to survive. As for the accused drunk driver, the CHP says he is also in the hospital.
He is being charged with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.