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Vigil held for woman killed in wrong-way crash

Posted at 7:58 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 00:46:53-05

An early Saturday morning crash claimed the life of two drivers, and now the family of one of them is speaking out.

Family members tell KRIS 6 News that Amy Hinojosa was driving home from visiting a friend on Highway 181 just after 2 a.m. when her small SUV was hit head-on by an allegedly drunk driver going the wrong way on the highway near Port Avenue. Both drivers died in the crash.

Corpus Christi Police Department officials said a man in his 40's was driving a pick-up truck in the wrong direction in the southbound lanes. They also said alcohol was found in his truck.

Hinojosa's father Robert G. Lemos Jr. is still trying to put all the pieces together.

"It was a shock," he said. "I couldn't believe it."

Lemos said he is still in shock as he and his family try to make sense of the events that unfolded early Saturday morning. Hinojosa was the eldest of three daughters: Her sister Anastacia Smith was the one who was first notified that Hinojosa had been killed.

"The police officers showed up to my apartment and notified me to let me know what happened," she said. "I had to be the one to call my parents."

Hinojosa was a single mother of three teenagers. Her youngest daughter Angelena Barboza said the past few days have been tough.

"As much as she would yell at me, I miss her yelling at me," she said. "She would tell me what to do. She always knew what was best for me; always."

The family held a candlelight vigil in Amy's honor at The Airport Lounge, where Amy worked for 10 years.

Two benefits will be held this week to help the family raise money for funeral costs. The first benefit begins at 11 a.m. Thursday at The Dawg House Bar at 4664 Kostoryz Road, where brisket plates will be sold.

The other will begin at noon on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Knights of Columbus on North Alameda Street until they run out of food.

The family said the outpouring of community, and friends support, already has been overwhelming.

"All the love she exuded -- it's coming back tenfold, I promise, and we feel it," said Leticia Saldana about her cousin, who is described as a larger-than-life personality who had a way of connecting with people. "Our hearts are sad, but they're are very filled."