FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Texas Roadhouse staff is devastated and demanding justice after a fellow employee was killed by a suspected drunk driver.
“You don’t expect things like this to happen. You say bye to your employees every single day, but you don’t expect that to be the last time you are seeing them,” said Danielle Meyer, operations manager for Texas Roadhouse. “You don’t expect to get that phone call at 1 o’clock in the morning. She left two young boys behind, they need to know the legacy their mom left behind and the impact she left on everyone’s lives.”
Rebecca Garcia worked for the company for five years. She was a line cook and was once the employee of the year. Her managers told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that Garcia always wore a smile on her face and was a positive and dedicated worker, who was trying to provide the best life possible for her sons.
Last Friday night, Garcia was leaving work and heading home to be with her two sons, but never made it. While she was waiting at a red light a suspected drunk driver jumped the curb and crashed into her SUV.
“Unfortunately, I did see the aftermath of the accident. Anytime I see an accident right outside of Texas Roadhouse I always have this pit in my stomach that it’s an employee of mine,” said Renee Howard, kitchen manager at Texas Roadhouse. “I did drive by there to see if I recognized the vehicle. I didn’t see her truck because it was blocked, but I did see the suspect’s car and I actually had relief that I could go home, and it wasn’t one of my employees.”
That relief only lasted briefly. About an hour later, the Texas Roadhouse staff learned that 33-year-old Garcia was indeed the victim. She was transported to the hospital but later died of multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Allen County Coroner’s report. She leaves behind two-young boys and a Texas Roadhouse family with a long list of questions.
“We need justice for her because the two kids are without parents, they are orphans. She was the only one taking care of those kids,” said Roberto Caleillo, manager at Texas Roadhouse.
Howard said the work environment at Texas Roadhouse is usually playfulness, joyful and filled with laughter. But after Garcia’s death, the atmosphere is not the same.
“Saturday night, that shift was definitely the hardest shift I have ever worked. Not because how busy we were, but because it was so quiet. There were a lot of hugs a lot of I love you’s because we all were grieving the same loss,” Howard said.
Garcia’s Texas Roadhouse family started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to send her body back to Mexico and start a trust fund for her two sons.
*WANE.com does not assure that the monies or donations deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a donation, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.