The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Family and friends of Oziel Carrizales gathered on Tuesday to comfort one another and remember the young man who brought so much joy to those around him.
Food was being grilled on a large outdoor smoker and children ate watermelon and played in the yard while the adults sat under the shade of the carport and a canopy.
Some of Carrizales’ friends gathered a few houses down the street, one of whom played music on an accordion. They chose to remember Carrizales the way he wanted to be remembered, with music and song.
Carrizales, 19, of Port Arthur and his longtime friend JuanCarlos “JC” Figeroa, 19, of Port Neches were traveling southbound in the 3900 block of FM 366 on Sunday when the vehicle Carrizales was driving veered across the roadway and struck a tree. Both men died at the scene.
Maria Carrizales, Oziel’s mother, held a T-shirt to her chest that featured Oziel’s photograph taken during the celebration of her 25th wedding anniversary. Her grief is palpable; she sobs while hugging a well wisher and asking aloud how will she move past the grief.
Oziel enjoyed rap music and created his own songs, the mother said while holding the shirt and some photos. The teen had attended school in Port Arthur and was most recently working as a welder’s helper at Vessel repair.
She described him as an independent person who wanted to experience life on his own, telling her “no mama, let me do it.” Sometimes, she said, parents don’t know the life of their children until the last moment.
“He had a lot of friends that love him. He was not a trouble maker and if he needed to confront someone he had no fear about it,” she said. “He trusted everybody, he never wanted to understand that not everyone was his friend.”
The mother and son had a close relationship.
“I told him I’m going to be your shadow, your friend, your enemy but I’ll always be with you,” she said.
The mother described her son as a person who was always happy. He told her his life was going to change and he was going to make her the “happiest mother in the world.”
Carrizales had recently spent five days in Mexico and after the 12 hour drive home she was tired and needed to rest.
“I saw him 2 o‘clock that morning. That was the last time I saw him,” she said. “I had said ‘I’m going to rest.’ I was took tired to get up and give him a hug. “My heart is broken into pieces.”
Oziel’s father, Francisco Carrizales, expressed his grief as well.
“He was my son and I loved him,” Francisco Carrizales said. “He was my hero and I am proud of him. We will miss him.”
The father and son shared baseball together; the father serving as manager and the son playing third base, he said.
The Carrizales’’ also feel grief for Figeroa and offer condolences to his family.
“I feel sorry for the loss for the other family,” she said. “No words can describe this.”
Figeroa was 2012 graduate of Port Neches-Groves High School. He enjoyed making people smile and laugh and his favorite sport was soccer, according to his obituary.
Figeroa is survived by his parents, Teresa and Juan Carlos Figueroa; grandparents; Josefina Figueroa, Maria Figueroa and Antonio Damian; brother, Eric Figueroa; sister, Maitte Figueroa and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Services for Figeroa will be held at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home.
Carrizales is survived by his parents, Francisco and Maria Carrizales; girlfriend, Karina Corona; sister, Keyla, and brother-in-law Jesus; sister, Sarai, and brother-in-law Josue; nephews, Christopher, Josue, Abel and Dante; nieces, Fernanda and Ana; grandparents Olga and Armando Acosta, of Mexico; as well as other family members from Mexico, Georgia, Dallas and San Antonio. Clayton Thompson Funeral Home is handing the services for Carrizales.