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Las Vegas man mourns ‘amazing’ wife killed in suspected DUI crash

James Gates said he wants “justice” after his wife of less than a year was killed by a suspected drunken driver on Wednesday.

“Lord says we’re supposed to love on each other, even the ones we …” Gates said, trailing off during an interview with the Review-Journal on Friday evening. “I’m just cried out. I want justice for her.”

Christina Gates, 56, of Las Vegas died after an Audi A3 driven by 33-year-old Eileen Gonzalez crossed over a median and crashed into her Hyundai Elantra head-on at intersection of Sahara Avenue and Steve Rigazio Court, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Christina Gates died at the scene, while Gonzalez was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Gonzalez was arrested and faces charges of DUI resulting in death, reckless driving resulting in death or significant bodily harm and driving with a revoked license from a previous DUI. She had a DUI arrest in 2016, court records show. She was released from jail Thursday after posting $100,000 bail.

“I got cheated, and (Gonzalez) was treated for minor scratches,” James Gates said. “I got some anger from that.”

James and Christina Gates married on Dec. 31, 2018, after meeting online in June 2017, he said. The two bonded over their faith and shared experience with adult children from previous marriages.

After their first date, he said, “That was it. We knew right away.”

When trying to describe his wife on Friday, James Gates kept repeating that she was “amazing.”

“Amazing all the way around, the kindest person,” the 48-year-old said. “She was beautiful, she was kind, she was amazing.”

Christina Gates moved to Las Vegas from Tucson, Arizona, 18 years ago and has worked at hospitals in patient registration, James Gates said. She spent the past four years working in the emergency room of St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, he said.

Wednesday was her day off, and Christina Gates was on her way home when the crash happened. She was coming home from dropping one of her daughters off at the dentist and driving into work unexpectedly to fill out a form, James Gates said.

“She was just at the wrong place,” he said.

Christina Gates was a “strong, Christian-rooted woman,” and the couple attended Inspire Church Las Vegas.

She was always seen in a nice dress or blouse, and on date nights the two would go to dinner and people-watch. During her days off, James Gates tried to insist that she relax and watch Netflix, he said.

James Gates said he plans to hold two funeral services, in Las Vegas and in Tucson, where Christina Gates spent her childhood years and where she will be buried.

He set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral arrangements.

While trying to grapple with his wife’s death, James Gates said he was comforted by friends who said she always seemed happy. He just wished he had more time.

“I’m just so sad,” he said. “I didn’t get to do a lot of things that I would have wanted to do.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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