SAN ANTONIO – While standing outside their East Side family home, Israel Solis said he had decided to speak publicly for the first time about his sister’s life of service and her tragic death.
His sister. Dora Linda Nishihara, 60, was killed after a portion of Quintana Road collapsed beneath her car Sunday, creating a giant sinkhole.
Solis said that, even as a child, “She was a giver, always a giver.” He said that’s why she went into law enforcement, to serve the community — first as a park ranger, as they were known then, and after she retired, as a volunteer reserve Bexar County deputy, working security at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center.
“She was a tough lady. She was small in stature, but she could deal with the big guys. And she had the heart of a lion," Solis said.
Solis said his sister encountered adversity and hardships as a single parent raising two children, but “She was able to conquer them time after time."
When referring to the accident, he said, “She conquered this because now she has eternal life and is in peace. We’re grateful for that.”
Solis, a minister who preaches in Austin and San Antonio, said his sister also was active at her church, Templo Elim Assembly of God. Both of their parents were ministers.
Solis said his sister’s family is grateful in so many ways, despite their grief.
“First to God. He is in control. He is in our lives. We appreciate his comfort and his direction,” Solis said.
He said they family is also thankful to city leaders, such as Mayor Ivy Taylor and Fire Chief Charles Hood, for taking time to speak with them at the crash site.
“That was amazing. We felt a lot of comfort from that,” Solis said.
Since then, he said, so many people who never knew his sister have offered their prayers and support.
Solis said the family is especially appreciative of the first responders for braving the dangerous, cold torrent of sewage to recover her body.
“We pray for them every day and what they do, rescuing others,” he said.
Solis said Nishihara was “just a few yards away” from her destination when the road gave way.
He said she had been about to work off-duty for her son’s private security company. Solis said the family still wonders, “Why did she go through that route? Couldn’t she have waited at the stop sign a little longer?”
Solis said those and so many other questions may take a lifetime to answer.
Raising his hands upward, he said, “One day, in eternity, we’ll be at peace with all the things that have occurred in our lives.”
Funeral arrangements for Nishihara are pending.