An Eastern New Mexico University sophomore was killed near Amherst, Texas, while heading back from spring break.
Monica Martinez, 20, died Monday morning in a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 84 near the Amherst city limits.
Martinez, a sophomore theater major, was partially ejected from a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, which overturned about 7 a.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety reported.
Martinez was as an enthusiastic girl who was “always finding a way to make people happy,” said Mary Ayala, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professor of Spanish at ENMU.
“She was an excellent student with an extremely bubbly personality,” Ayala said. “(She was) always willing to help out when anybody needed it. She was involved in pretty much everything.”
Ayala said Martinez was one of the founders of ENMU’s Ballet Folklorico program, for which Ayala is a faculty advisor.
Martinez’ picture was always circulating in the university’s public relations materials because “she always lighted up the room,” Ayala said.
Martinez was from Tomball, Texas, and graduated from Waller High School in 2002.
The Nissan’s driver, Joshua Costea, 18, of the Houston suburb of Hockley suffered cuts and abrasions. He was in stable condition at the Lamb Healthcare Center, DPS said.
Costea was driving west on U.S. 84 when the Nissan went into the median. He swerved back onto the roadway but turned sideways, causing the Nissan to overturn twice, DPS said.