Cand­lelight vigil held for SWISD teacher killed in hit-­and-run

SAN ANTONIO – Family, friends, co-workers and students gathered Friday night to remember 38-year-old Vanessa Puentes.

Puentes, an art teacher at Southwest ISD, was fatally struck by a vehicle Sunday morning while walking on Portanco Road near Loop 1604.

"Absolutely disbelief, shock actually. It's so sad to hear that. I worked right across the hallway from her so in between classes she was my person that I talked to every single day," said co-worker Amanda Balarin.

For many, the healing process started Friday night as candles were lit and prayers were shared.

"This is going to be a big community together. Dragon pride and the dragon family is one of the biggest things here in this community and Ms. Puente believed in that," said fellow teacher Kary Driesse.

Puentes was know for having an impact on those around her. "She was always happy, always happy, very good person," said student Asia Mora.

Driesse said she was exciting and vivacious. "She was always really energetic and wanted more. She challenged her kids for everything. Let them express themselves and find themselves."

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office says they believe the driver that hit Puentes was in a dark-colored Ford Expedition.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP.