SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio family is dealing with the loss of two family members involved in a fatal crash in South Bexar County on Nov. 18.
Amanda Jimenez, 30, and her cousin, Christine Badillo, 28, died together while on Benton City Road.
The family said Badillo was driving Jimenez to work when she veered off the roadway, overcorrected and crashed into oncoming traffic.
“Both of them left together. According to the officer, my sister and my cousin left this earth at 9:54 a.m.,” said Angelita Nunez-Chavez, Jimenez’s sister, through tears.
Nunez-Chavez said the family knew something was wrong when the two women didn’t answer their phones.
“My mom called me and asked me to go to the house to see if they were there because we live just down the street from each other,” Nunez-Chavez said.
“We figured maybe they left their phones in the car or something. I went to my sister’s house, and there wasn’t a car there. I called my mom and said, ‘They are not here, and wherever they are, they are together.’ When I came back, I realized just how right I was,” she said as she got emotional.
The two women were honored Sunday during a prayer vigil and balloon release at the crash location.
“My parents and Christine’s parents agreed that we needed to find a way to honor them because we were getting so much outreach from family and friends asking where they could go to honor them,” Nunez-Chavez said. “They wanted to know where they could go to say goodbye. We were lucky there was an open field near the location where they passed.”
Nunez-Chavez said the family was overwhelmed by the large turnout.
“It was amazing to see how many people -- I mean, we know we love Amanda and Christie, but to see how many people loved Amanda and Christie to take time out of their day to go to something we planned at the last minute,” Nunez-Chavez said. “It was awesome to see so many people praying together for them both. One of our family members brought an A and a C balloon. It must have been hundreds of balloons in the air. That A and C, you could see clearly all the way up.”
Nunez-Chavez said she is devastated her sister, Amanda, is gone.
“When she left, she took a piece of all of us,” Nunez-Chavez said. “As much as it hurts that we don’t have her here, I am thankful that I know she is at peace. I am thankful she knew God and Christ, so I know where she is at. When she left, she didn’t leave alone. She had her cousin with her. They walked through those gates of heaven together.”
Jimenez was known for her laugh and unique sense of humor.
“She was very peaceful and calm,” Nunez-Chavez said. “Those that knew her knew she was the kind of person who, when we had a big family event, she would show up, and then she would quietly disappear. You knew she was there, but she never needed to announce she was there. She would always leave early too.”
Jimenez also loved her job, Nunez-Chavez said
“She became a mother at a very young age, and when she did, she started working and saving up money for her daughter,” Nunez-Chavez said. “She went to school to get her medical assistant degree, and even though she got that, she decided to go into the family’s auto shop business. She was a secretary when she had to be. She was a parts puller when she had to be. She was a car saleswoman when she had to be. She wore every hat she had to wear to make sure that business was a success. She was my mom and dad’s ‘right-hand man’ in that place.”
Jimenez also loved helping people, Nunez-Chavez said.
“We always knew if we needed someone to talk to or guide us, we could turn to Amanda,” Nunez-Chavez said.
Jimenez leaves behind Clemencia Mercy Jimenez, her 12-year-old daughter. The family said that though Thanksgiving will never be the same, they are a peace knowing their loved ones are in a better place.
They had these words to say to others moving forward.
“Love those that you have today,” Nunez-Chavez said. “Because you might not get the chance to say you love them or give that hug because you might never get a chance to do that again.”