GIDDINGS, Texas — The Giddings community is remembering the lives of three young men who died in a car crash Tuesday morning.
Officials identified those men as 21-year-old Jesus Escalante, 21-year-old Alixis Hernandez and 22-year-old Clemente Nava.
They were well-known and loved in the Giddings community. According to a family member, Hernandez and Nava were first cousins and Escalante was a childhood friend.
"It hit home, it hit the heart, they're young and they had a future ahead of them," Norma Segura, a cousin of Hernandez and Nava, said. "They grew up together, now they left together."
On Wednesday, Chelis, a Mexican restaurant in Giddings, will have all sales go toward the victims' families. PowerHouse Electrical Services, where the four men worked, has also set up a GoFundMe to help their families.
Family friend Adrianna Cardenas said the young men were on their way to work when a semi truck pulled out in front of them to cross Highway 290, east of Elgin.
Cardenas works with one of the victim's mother.
"All of them graduated from Giddings High School," Cardenas said. "One was in my grade. A couple of them were younger than me, I believe. Only a couple years though. And it's crazy because we were just out at Bernie's just last week when I saw them there too. It's crazy this happened."
Cardenas added one of them just celebrated a birthday.
Former neighbor Maria Maldonado also grew up near the men. She said all three grew up in the same neighborhood and played basketball with her son in their yard.
"I know their moms, all their moms and I know that it's hard to believe 'cause my son grew up with them. It's hard," Maldanado said through tears. "We're not gonna forget them because we grew up with them."
Four young men in total were in the black Tahoe that crashed into the semi truck. Troopers said the semi failed to yield as he turned left onto Roy Davis Road in front of their car around 6:30 a.m.
Cardenas said the surviving victim is in ICU at Dell Seton.
"It's really upsetting," Cardenas said. "I've had actually multiple friends that have passed during the school year. It's just really sad to see that we have other people that we went to high school with pass."
The driver of the semi could be charged with a crime, but DPS said the crash is still under investigation.
There have been 10 fatal crashes on 290 in the last five years from Elgin to McDade in Bastrop County.