New street name celebrates life of West Side advocate, pastor's daughter killed in crash

Victoria Robles Memorial Way is celebration of positive change for the community

SAN ANTONIO – Changing a street name is not simple. It takes a lot of support, time, money, and it's only done for important reasons.

Victoria Robles is an important reason.

She was a community advocate and the daughter of a west-side pastor. She was killed a year ago in a car crash.

READ THE ORIGINAL REPORT: Family, friends gather to remember woman killed in triple fatal crash 

Now the struggling neighborhood she helped rebuild has found a way to celebrate her memory.

The street, spanning only one block, is tiny, but its significance is quite the opposite. 

"This was a block known for drugs and gangs and all kinds of stuff but a lot of great things have happened here in this block in the Westside of San Antonio. From the projects behind us being torn down to being rebuilt," said Pastor Jimmy Robles with Last Chance Ministries.

RELATED: Pastor's daughter among victims killed in Loop 410 crash 

Pastor Jimmy Robles and his family had a lot to do with that positive change.  He specifically credits his daughter Victoria.

"She wanted to always give, give, give, and expect nothing in return and was always one of those encouragers to say come on Dad, get up let's keep on going. Let's keep on fighting for our city," he said.

He didn't realize how many people she'd reached until her funeral.

"Many people were coming to the casket. I told my wife, 'Who are these people with backpacks and stuff?' They were homeless people, men and women that I never knew. My daughter would feed them and be there and do their hair do their nails. She was in cosmetology," he said. "That was Tori. Victoria was always smiling. She loved the kids, the kids around here would call her little Mama Bear."

A year ago, she was killed in a car crash, and the news devastated the community. They needed a way to celebrate and honor her.

Sunday they were finally able to do that. City leaders, family, and hundreds of community members watched and cheered as a pink sheet was pulled off of a brand new street sign that read Victoria Robles Memorial Way. 

"I believe it was important to honor her life and the work she’d done in this community to improve the quality of life," said District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, who helped bring the project to fruition.

"I was there on the morning Pastor Robles got the news about his little girl and it was a heart-wrenching experience, but it was also inspiring to see the way he and his wife and his family and this congregation stood back up and continued their fight," said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, who attended Sunday's unveiling.

That little street formerly known for negativity is now a daily reminder of love, charity, and respect.

"It really brings a lot of joy to me," Pastor Robles said. "Even though my daughter's not here we continue to move forward and continue to encourage others that might need some kind of hope."

Pastor Robles said his daughter's name, as well as the sign, means victory: victory for his healing family, victory for the west side, and victory for an ever-changing San Antonio.

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