‘A piece of our heart is gone,’: Mother of 3 remembered for her kindness after fatal crash

Nina Leyva’s family plans to raise money for her son’s futures

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio family is hoping their abrupt loss serves as a reminder to others to always cherish your family.

Nina Leyva, 21, was a mother of three young sons ages 2-4.

“She was the perfect mom,” said Leyva’s mother, Rose Marie Villalobos. “She always did everything for them. She got them everything needed. She dressed them nicely. She said she wanted to educate them to be independent just like she was.”

Leyva lost her life in a car crash on the city’s Northwest Side on Monday morning.

21-year-old woman killed in rollover on I-10 identified by authorities

San Antonio police say Leyva hit a curb on Interstate Highway 10 near UTSA Boulevard, lost control and flipped her vehicle multiple times before getting hit by an oncoming semi-truck.

“A piece of our heart is gone and knowing that every time we wake up with one less sibling or family member breaks us,” said Angel Pacheco, her brother. “No one should ever have to go through this. No one.”

Leyva was the youngest of six children in a single-parent household. Her family said as she got older, she grew out of her shyness.

“She was a very vibrant person,” Pacheco said. “She had a smile that lit up the room. She loved to sing. She was always singing in the car or while we would clean. She knew how to make all of us feel better when we were mad or sad.”

Providing for her three sons as a single parent, Pacheco says Leyva was a hard-working woman.

“She worked all kinds of jobs,” Pacheco said. “Unfortunately, she was one of the people impacted by the pandemic, but she didn’t let that stop her. She found ways of working in the service industry. She loved helping people and everyone she served loved her.”

They said she was passionate about becoming an entrepreneur.

“She wanted to become a hairstylist and study cosmetology to open up her own shop,” Pacheco said. “She felt no matter where you came from anyone could be beautiful. When she did our mom’s makeup, she said, ‘Mom you are so beautiful! But that is ok because this is how I am going to look one day!’ I thought that was so funny.”

When Leyva wasn’t hard at work, Pacheco said she was always making people laugh.

“She would make us laugh so hard, we wouldn’t be able to breathe,” Pacheco said. “One time I actually passed out from laughing so hard with her.”

Pacheco said the family is still unsure of when or how they will tell Leyva’s young sons, Angel, Jesse and Mateo.

“They are still just living life and are just so precious,” Pacheco said. “They are just full of happiness and full of joy. Moving forward, we are going to work together to make sure they are taken care of in any shape, form or fashion.”

The family is currently raising money to afford funeral and wake service expenses. They say they want nothing more than to give Leyva the best ceremony that she deserves.

Pacheco says the family is going to use any extra funds they raise to go towards the futures of her sons.

“I just want anyone out there going through what we are going through, or anybody watching to know life if too short,” Pacheco said. “Hug each other, hold each other, and let each other know how much you truly love them.”

If you would like to help the family, you can contact them at 210-394-7073.

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