'He took something away from everybody': Family speaks out after drunk driver appears in court

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 20:33:39-04
Francisco De La Cruz, 25, was killed by a drunk driver near Highway 119 and Stine Road Sunday morning.
He was a loving father and husband who was taken too soon.
"We can't get Franky back and no matter how much time this man is going to serve he took something away from everybody," said Sheri Simonek, De La Cruz’s mother-in-law. 
Bakersfield Police say Carlos Garcia was the drunk driver behind the wheel of the vehicle that killed De La Cruz. Police tell 23ABC Garcia hit De La Cruz head-on -- swerving in and out of lanes.
"I feel sick to my stomach honestly, it's really hard to actually see somebody that would actually get behind the wheel while they're drunk," said Mariah Wheeler, De La Cruz’s sister-in-law. 
Garcia appeared in court July 20th and is being held on an over $1 million bond -- charged with second-degree murder. He is also facing other charges following a previous DUI charge. Garcia is expected back in court at the end of this month.
The family is raising money for funeral expenses. They've set up a GoFundMe page and will be having a car wash this weekend at Westside Believers Fellowship in Taft, California from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
De La Cruz's family has one message for the community: "Don't drink and drive... if you see this family or go on Facebook and see just their posts Franky was an awesome guy. He is loved by so many."
The family's GoFundMe page can be found at