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Parents of 2 boys killed by a drunken driver speak to ABC-7

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Dec 24 2012 11:42:15 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 09:17:11 PM CST

The two boys were in North Dakota while on a camping trip.

El Paso, Texas -

Only days before Christmas, KVIA is catching up with an El Paso family on what will certainly be a tough holiday.

ABC-7 met up with the parents of Cyrus and Alaries Ruiz while they were helping out at the Reynolds home. The home shelters mothers and children facing hardships.

The parents of the children killed were donating food and jackets along with others to make the holiday special for kids there. They're helping children the same ages as the boys they lost.

Sandra Hernandez, mother of the two boys, tells ABC-7, "It was a lady that called me from the hospital and told me that there was a terrible accident and that my babies were dead."

The boys' mother was in shock.

"It hit me once we got to the state. Once we got to the state, we heard it on the radio," said Hernandez.

Even though she'd just lost her two young boys, she had to stay strong. The little ones' dad was still clinging to life.

"When I walked in there, he was asleep and just connected to all these tubes," said Hernandez.

Juan Ruiz, the boys' father, had internal bleeding and a punctured lung.

"They were in summer vacation," said Ruiz.

What started as a family camping trip in North Dakota turned to a life-changing tragedy in seconds.

"They loved fishing, they loved being in a tent, they loved just being outside," said Ruiz.

The kids and their dad had started a camp fire, enjoyed a summer evening under the stars, then called it a night. But just before they fell asleep, Ruiz heard something outside the tent.

"I heard when the truck turned on and left," said Ruiz.

Police in North Dakota say Juan Acosta admitted to drinking heavily and driving around the campground erratically.

Shortly thereafter, police say Acosta accelerated, plowing into the family's tent.

"The next thing I remember, when I came to, I'm pulling my boys from under the truck," said Ruiz.

Nine-year-old Cyrus was unconsious; his 5-year-old brother, Alaries, was barely breathing.

"I just asked, you know, take us all together or take them together, because I could not live with just one; I know the other one could not live without his brother," said Ruiz.

Both of the boys died that night.

Just before Christmas, the parents are left with a void that nothing can fill.

Not being able to watch their sons this Christmas morning, waking up with smiles to see what Santa has left behind.

"Doing the simple things, just getting them ready for breakfast, getting them ready for school," said Hernandez.

 But what they miss the most is those words they'll never get to hear again.

"I'd come in the room, and I'd be like, what's going on?', 'Nothing, I love you.' Just to say 'I love you,' I miss it a lot," said Hernandez.

Acosta, the man police identified as the driver, will most likely face 35 years in prison.

Both Hernandez and Ruiz tell ABC-7, they don't want their boys to have died vain.

The driver that killed their boys had four previous DWIs in California, where they have the Watson law.

 It's a law stating that individuals with prior DWI convictions can face stiffer penalties.

the law doesn't apply to North Dakota, and the parents are now fighting for that law to be included in every state so that prior DWIs can follow a repeat offender.

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