Arancibia was the passenger in her friend's vehicle which struck the concrete foundation of a large sign in Watchung on Route 22. Shortly after the collision, the car burst into flames.
The driver survived the crash and was transported to a local hospital.
Arancibia met up with the driver the night before the fatal car crash, and the two went to a club called Coco Bongos.
In an interview at his home in Jackson Heights on Sunday, October 23, the victim's older cousin, Alan Arancibia, said “the driver of the car was drunk and she survived, my cousin died. The car exploded and she got burned.”
Ms. Arancibia attended Newcomers High School in Queens after she moved to Jackson Heights from Chile about four years ago to stay with family. About two months ago she relocated to Richmond Hill, were she rented a room with money she earned working for a cleaning company in the city.
“She was independent and very hardworking; she wanted to go back to college,” her cousin said. “It’s so hard because she’s so young. It affected me really bad, she was the only cousin I was really cool with and now I lost her.”
The victim's cousin reminisced about Ms. Arancibia, and said he remembers her as “having a good heart.
“She was the only one who got along with everyone," he added.
Mr. Arancibia said he is taking the loss day by day. He said the accident affected his family members dramatically.
“My dad doesn’t show emotion, but now he's devastated. he's like 'I can’t believe it.'”
Mr. Arancibia went on to say that his cousin's death is an example of why people shouldn’t drink and drive.
“You're basically taking a 20 percent chance of getting to your destination and an 80 percent chance of getting into a car accident," he said. "When you’re drunk, you don’t care.”