By: Julia Deng
PECOS - Friends, family and community members are still reeling from the death of Amber Orona, 17, a junior at Pecos High School.
She was killed Monday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on I-20, approximately two miles west of Monahans. According to Texas Department of Public Safety officials, the man driving their vehicle was speeding in the left lane and hit the back of a pickup truck in the right lane, causing both vehicles to roll.
Orona was pronounced dead at the scene. The two drivers were injured.
"She was loved by many," her aunt, Cathy Baca, told NewsWest 9. "[She was] a loving person, caring [and] always worried about others."
She also described her niece as a "great mother." Orona leaves behind a 15-month-old son.
"He's too young to really understand," said Baca, who was the first member of their family to hear about the deadly crash. "We're all still waiting for this to really hit us. I keep thinking she's [going to] walk through the door."
She said the outpouring of love and support from the community reflected how much Orona would be missed. Friends set up donation accounts through GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses and reached their fundraising goals within two days, Baca said.
"The whole community just came forward. And all her friends, they just come cherish the moments... We will miss her smile [and] her laugh."
The GoFundMe page for Orona can be found at the following link: http://www.gofundme.com/vhp3b74.
Pecos High School sent the following letter to inform parents of the junior's death:
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I am sorry to inform you that one of our students at Pecos High School, Amber Orona, passed away yesterday afternoon from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden. All of us will be feeling a variety of emotions: shock, sadness, and confusion. What is important is that we care for and support each other.
The Counseling Team is meeting with the students in their classrooms and will continue to respond to the emotional needs of the students individually and in their classrooms as needed.