By Marissa Perlman

NATOMAS (CBS13) – Two women killed in an overnight crash on Garden Highway in south Natomas have been identified.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office says the victims were Raquel Hudson and DeJuana Byrd – both 28 years old from Sacramento.

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Raquel was a hostess at a Roseville restaurant. Her family called her a bright light in this community. At 3:45 in the morning, it was the call that Tamara Bennett, general manager of Q1227 restaurant, never wanted to get.

“Her mother called us and was in hysterics telling us rocky had passed,” Bennett said.

Raquel, also called “Rocky” or “rock star”, who had an infectious, bright smile, was gone. She was a hostess at Bennett’s restaurant, but Bennett says she’d been part of her family for 20 years.

“We helped raise Rocky since she was 5 years old,” she said.

Bennett learned Raquel and her good friend DeJuana Byrd were both killed in a two-car crash on the Arden-Garden connector.

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A third person in the car was also seriously hurt. The early morning crash closed down the road for more than seven hours.

“I just kept saying it’s not true,” Bennett said.

Bennett and her husband rushed to the scene to be with Raquel’s mom. She calls this a nightmare for her family and the entire restaurant. The restaurant closed until Tuesday so employees can mourn this loss.

For Bennett, she says the restaurant space where Raquel lit up the room will never be the same

“It’s going to be a void forever,” Bennett said.

Police found four people hurt. The driver of the other car was taken to the hospital with minor injuries while a third person in Raquel’s car at last check is still in critical condition.

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Police are investigating whether speed or alcohol are a factor in this crash.

Marissa Perlman