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Law enforcement mourn victims of Harbor Bridge crash

Betsy Mandujano
Posted at 9:19 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 23:16:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Police have released the names of the victims from Wednesday night's crash on the Harbor Bridge.

They were 37-year-old Betsy Mandujano and 27-year-old Mathew Banda, both from Sinton.

San Patricio County Sheriff Oscar Rivera posted on Facebook to mourn the loss of Mandujano. She was a 10-year employee of the department as a communications operator.

Rivera along with other law enforcement arrived in Corpus Christi on Thursday, to pick up their bodies and take them home.

Rivera said his office is like a close-knit family. So, when co-workers of Mandujano couldn’t get in touch with her Wednesday night, they feared the worst.

“Everybody keeps in touch with each other," said Rivera. "They were concerned that she may be the person involved in the fatality accident.”

Rivera described her as an angel. Someone who was always up for company or social events.

“Betsy was a person that made all the parades with us, went to all the events we had, with popcorn. Loved to dance, dance with the kids out there at projects. Great person,” he said.

Rivera said Mandujano may have even viewed him as a father figure.

“When she started seeing this young man, we went to lunch together kind of like being a dad to make sure this is the right person. And he sure was, he was a good guy,” Rivera said holding back tears.

That guy was Banda. He was driving the night of the crash with Mandujano in the passenger seat. The two were heading to Corpus Christi on Mandujano’s night off.

Rivera said Thursday was a somber day at the sheriff’s office, but also at Sinton Police Department. Mandujano’s brother is an officer for Sinton Police.

Thinking about Mandujano, Rivera said he has many favorite memories.

“Absolutely, always, every day," he said. "One after another. Just a close-knit family there, at the office, that we know each other, we miss each other.”

Rivera said he is working with Mandujano’s family to make funeral arrangements at Resthaven Funeral Home.

No date has been set as of Thursday afternoon.

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