El Pasoan, Natalia Loya, 22, is in critical condition after being involved in a car crash, that happened in Tampa, Florida. According to the El Paso times, Loya was visiting from El Paso, but when I read the article, I realized another person involved is one close to my heart. Ernesto Martinez, 67, was involved in the crash and is one of my favorite teachers from Fabens High School. The crash also happened on Ernesto's 67th birthday.

On Tuesday night, D'Angelo Howard was speeding down Florida Avenue, when he ran a red light at HIllsborough Avenue, and crashed into a Honda Odessy. Inside that van was Natalie and The Martinez Family.

14-year-old David Martinez was ejected from the minivan and pronounced dead at the scene.

His sister, Veronica Martinez, 19; his father, Albert Martinez, 43; his grandmother, Irma Martinez, 67; and grandfather Ernesto Martinez, 67, are in stable condition Wednesday afternoon, according to the El Paso TImes. 

Howard was arrested and has been charged with vehicular homicide caused by reckless driving. Police are awaiting toxicology results to see if Howard will face additional charges.

My heart is so heavy reading and writing this article, because Mr. Martinez is one of the sweetest men I have ever met. He taught my graphic arts class and really made my high school days worth dealing with. He even gave me a crazy nickname, 'Ginger' because my hair was this weird orange, which I hated, so he made me smile by picking on me. Everyone has those handful of teachers that they truly cherish for brightening up their gloomy high school years, and Mr. Martinez is one of mine. My prayers are with him and his family.

If anyone would like to donate to The Martinez Family to help cover medical expenses and funeral cost, you can through their GoFundMe account.


[El Paso Times]