Family donates Thanksgiving meal in honor of teenage girl who died in car crash

A little over a year ago, Dominique Orta, 18, died in a terrible car accident. Now her mom is doing all she can to keep Dominique’s legacy alive.

This week, Annette Orta and her family, of San Antonio, Texas, donated Thanksgiving meals to 30 families in need to honor Dominique, who Orta said was “a very generous person.”

“She was full of life and living her life to the fullest, so she wouldn’t want us to be sad and cry all the time,” Orta said. “We do that [cry] a lot, but she wouldn’t want us like that. So we try to keep his memory alive and help everyone we can. “

Dominique passed away on November 15, 2020. She was the fourth of five sisters and graduated from high school in the spring of 2020. She was preparing to enter nursing school in January 2021.

“She was just the life of the party, always dancing,” Orta said, adding, “She was just free spirited… living her life to the fullest.”

On November 15, 2020, Dominique Orta, 18 (photo), died in a horrific car accident. (Courtesy of Annette Orta)

“All of her friends say she was the light in a dark room,” Orta continued. “She was there for them when they needed her the most.”

While in high school, Dominique was a good student, Orta said. She frequently donated blood and even organized blood drives at her school.

Before she died, Dominique was about to start working as a seasonal employee at UPS for the holidays, where she could save money before nursing school in January.

Last November, Dominique was driving a car when a suspected drunk driver collided with the car she was in. Dominique was thrown from the car, which rolled over and landed on top of her, breaking almost every bone from her waist to her feet, Orta said.

She was taken to hospital, where Orta and her family were able to see Dominique briefly before her death, Orta said.

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To honor Dominic’s life and memory, the Orta family donated 30 meals to families in need for Thanksgiving. (Courtesy of Annette Orta)

Although Dominique is an organ donor, she was only able to donate her corneas after her death, due to the nature of her injuries, Orta said.

Orta said she and her family were “in shock and disbelief” after Dominique’s death.

“It has affected the lives of a lot of people,” Orta said.

“[Dominique’s death] really rocked our community, ”added Annette.

Orta said that over the past year, she and her family have continued to mourn the loss of Dominique. Orta and her husband visited the cemetery where Dominic is buried daily and on the first anniversary of her death last week they celebrated life.

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The Orta family (photo) will organize a toy drive around Christmas, also in honor of Dominique. (Courtesy of Annette Orta)

The Orta family has also decided to give meals to families in need for Thanksgiving, a program they call “Kiki’s Thanksgiving Blessing” after one of Dominic’s nicknames, Kiki.

At first, the Ortas decided to donate 10 meals, but that number grew to 30 thanks to donations and support from the community. Annette said the family will also be hosting a Christmas toy drive, also on Dominique’s behalf.

“We’re just happy and blessed to be able to do this to help other people and since she was such a generous person, we are doing it in her memory, in her honor,” Orta said.

“It’s a tradition that we plan to start every year, to keep its memory alive,” she added. “I don’t want anyone to forget who she was.”

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