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Woman killed in Friday morning crash dedicated to work and family

By Gheni_Platenburg , LOURDES VAZQUEZ
April 9, 2010 at 1:02 p.m.
Updated April 8, 2010 at 11:09 p.m.

A cross was placed at the intersection of Teakwood Drive and Houston Highway by Inez Melchor's family. Melchor was killed in a one-car wreck early Friday morning while on her way to work.

Surrounded by photos of Inez Melchor, her family remembered her Friday night as a dedicated Walmart support manager and a dedicated family women.

"A part of my heart died today," said a tearful Jose Puga, her younger brother.

The 36-year-old Victoria resident was on her way to work at 6:38 a.m., when she veered into oncoming traffic in the 4000 block of Houston Highway in her blue PT Cruiser.

"Anytime they needed her, she was there," said Frank Puga, her older brother.

Melchor was headed to the grand re-opening at Enda's Walmart.

The ribbon cutting was dedicated to her, Frank said.

A tree was also planted outside the store in her memory, Wendy J. Miller, a co-worker wrote online.

The family received donations from Walmart, friends and neighbors.

"She had a very strong work ethic," said Victoria Puga, her mother.

The family joked that work came first, then came family, but they counted on Melchor to organize family gathers.

"She was the type that always wanted to bring the family together," said cousin Rachael Ochoa, as the family gathered in the kitchen of Melchor's home remembering stories of "Koiko" as they called her.

When she was little she would play with her toes and go "koiko-koiko," her mom recalled.

"She accomplished a lot. This is her house," said Yvonne Puga, her sister-in-law.

"She was the best friend anybody could ask for," said Jose, who was only 10 months younger than Melchor.

Yvonne's daughter, Krysta Mores was preparing for her quinceañera later this year with her aunt set to help make decorations.

"She was helping me get ready. I don't know how I'm going to do it without her," said Krysta, through tears.

"She was the best daughter. She fought for me a lot of the time," her mother said.

She learned of the wreck by calling her daughter's phone after she did not receive a call from Melchor saying Melchor had arrived at work.

"She (Inez's mother) called her cell phone and a police man answered the phone," Ochoa said.

Melchor's PT Cruiser came to rest in the ditch near the intersection of Houston Highway and Teakwood Drive.

The 36- year-old who was not wearing her seatbelt during the accident, was taken by ambulance to Citizens Medical Center in critical condition with a faint pulse.

She was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Victoria police officer Shane Wallace said the cause of the one-vehicle accident is unknown.

Wallace said witnesses told him no other vehicles were driving near the PT Cruiser.

Melchor's family was unaware of any medical condition that could have contributed to the accident.

Furthermore, Wallace said Melchor's cellular telephone was not a contributing factor to the crash.

"We found her cell phone," said Wallace. "She had not been on it at the time of the accident."

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