Woman learns of daughter's deadly car crash on television

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on October 13, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 13 at 4:03 PM

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A Valley woman, waiting for her daughters daily phone call... instead saw her car on the news, mangled in a wreck - and realized she would never hear Nicole Gillum's voice again.

"She calls me every morning to say 'mom have a beautiful day' and she hadn't called me," said Betty Austin, Gillum's mother.

27 year old Gillum was killed while her friend and kids, 5 year old Zanirah and 2 year old Otellos were sent to the hospital.

The crash happened just before 5 o'clock Tuesday morning as Gillum was on her way to her kids daycare and then to work.

Police say 30 year old Elizabel Carrillo drove her Dodge Magnum through a red light at 19th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road and careened into Gillum's small sedan.

Court documents released on Wednesday say Carrillo admitted to 'consuming 5-6 [beers] between the times of 12:30 am and 1:00 am, prior to driving her motor vehicle.'

"We're devastated, we're upset you know, who in their right mind would be driving drunk at 5 o'clock in the morning?" Austin said.

A cousin at the suspect's home said he didn't know what happened.

In a phone call, Carillo's husband said his wife was not drunk, although she had been at a friends house the night before and was on her way home.

Gillum's family says they're now focused on their grand kids. Otellos suffered serious brain injuries but is expected to survive, along with the other two victims.

They also offer sympathy to the suspect.

Carrillo, who is a mother of four herself... was charged with one count of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault.

"We have to pray for that young lady and her family because it's literally changed her life... my daughter's at peace, she's at peace."

There is a memorial fund set up for Nicole Gillum at Wells Fargo. Anyone wishing to donate can ask for the Nicole Gillum Memorial Fund.

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