Only on 8: Family and friends come together to celebrate life of mother killed in DUI crash

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A community is in mourning, after a beloved mother and friend was taken too soon. Police say 53-year-old Gilma Rodriguez Walters was killed by an impaired driver last week.

On Sunday night, loved ones and coworkers gathered in front of the Home Depot, just south of the 95 and 215, where Gilma worked for about 20 years. They came together to celebrate her life and legacy.

Around 100 people came out, holding lighted candles and sharing memories of Gilma.

It’s clear that she was loved by many.

Police say a suspected DUI driver hit and killed her last Monday near Tropical Parkway and Torrey Pines.

8 News Now spoke with Gilma’s three daughters, who say they’re still coming to terms with what happened.

“She was all about love and laughing and family and life, and I’m trying to honor her in that way,” said daughter Andrea Lopez.

“It was not her time to go, and she should’ve had a better time to go,” added daughter Ruth Neall. “It was not the way she should have gone.”

“What’s heavy on our hearts is justice,” said daughter Mariela Amaro. “We want to make sure that other families don’t have to suffer the way we have.”

Sunday night’s vigil was planned by Gilma’s Home Depot coworkers. They say she always had a big smile and was an extremely kind soul.

“I just want tonight to be about a celebration of her, that’s exactly what she wanted, and we also want to make a statement against DUI,” said coworker Monja Mitchell.

That message against impaired driving was very visible at the vigil. The organization “Stop DUI” was at the vigil, as well as Metro police, who all spoke out against DUI driving.

The suspect in this case is Marsha Stewart Byrd. She’s charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving. Gilma’s family says they want the courts to prosecute Byrd to the fullest extent.

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