San Antonio – A San Antonio mother and grandmother is being remembered as the rock of her family after her life was taken in a fatal crash. That crash resulted in a murder charge for the suspect who caused it.
Olga De Anda, 53, had just celebrated a birthday in May. She was getting off work and running some errands for her daughter’s upcoming wedding when the crash happened.
“She was like, ‘I’m on my way home mija. I love you,’” said Stephanie Ramos, her daughter who planned to get married last weekend. “I was like, ‘Ok, love you to ma. Bye,’ and I hung up the phone and I didn’t think that was going to be the last time I would say I love you to my mom,” she said as she broke down into more tears.
Her family said the day of her death was excruciating.
“I remember an hour went by and then an hour and a half,” Stephanie Ramos said. “It is not like her to not answer her phone and we all were calling. She never answered. Every car that drove by here, we were hoping it was her. Something inside told me to go look for her so I went down the same route I knew she would come when she would be on her way home.”
Then entire time, Stephanie Ramos said she prayed that her mom’s phone was just dead.
“I got to Goliad and I saw all of these red and blue lights and I thought, ‘No, no, no, this can’t be my mom so I am good.’ Then as I got closer, I pulled off and parked in the Auto Zone parking lot. I recognized the car and I just didn’t want to believe it was my mom.”
Phillip Lopez, 30, was suspected of being intoxicated at the time of his arrest. San Antonio police said he had already hit two other vehicles before crashing into Olga De Anda’s.
After she passed away at the hospital, he was charged with murder.
“His family can still write him and go see him behind bars but I get nothing,” Stephanie Ramos said through tears. “I get an urn to talk to my mom and it is not fair!”
“I am absolutely disgusted and hateful,” said Emanuel Rodriguez, Olga De Anda’s son. “And I know I am not supposed to be that way,” he said through tears. “My mom wouldn’t want me to be like that. But in time, yeah maybe if I can let it go, I’ll forgive him. But right now, I just have so much in my heart. I just can’t get over it.”
Her family said Olga De Anda had a heart of gold.
“She was a very special person,” said Ruben De Anda, her husband of eight years. “She was my everything. My better half. She had the kindest heart. She would go out of her way to help people. She had this beautiful smile that I fell in love with.”
“She was a very loving person,” Stephanie Ramos said. “She was a great mom. Anytime we needed her, she always came through. Always picked the phone up day and night. She was my best friend that I talked to every single day. I could count on her if I needed a food recipe, or a floral arrangement. She was always there.”
They said they will not let her life ever be forgotten.
“She was only 53,” said Gina Ramos, her daughter. “She had so much more to do and give. She was funny and alway pranking and laughing and wanting everyone to be together. A lot of relationships have been repaired and we are not just trying to be strong with each other.”
In their mom’s honor, they completed a concrete walkway carved with signatures of family members who came down to pay their respects. It is a walkway they said Olga De Anda wanted to have in time for her daughter’s home wedding.
“My niece and nephew were her world,” Gina Ramos said. “On behalf of them and her, we are calling this Nana’s Pathway.”
The family had this to say to others as they encourage people to spread love to one another.
“You need to think about your actions,” Stephanie Ramos said. “Your actions do not just impact you. They impact others.”
“It is not worth it,” Rodriguez said. “Your fifteen-minute joyride, or ten-minute high is not worth it. The consequences you have caused for families are long-lasting. You need to make good choices and I hope people hear this and learn from this. This man ripped out our hearts. Our world was taken from someone make stupid decisions and really bad choices in life. It is not right and it is not worth it.”