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Friends say they'll dearly miss 19-year-old Seadrift woman killed in crash

By Gheni_Platenburg
Oct. 26, 2011 at 5:26 a.m.
Updated Oct. 27, 2011 at 5:27 a.m.

This black GMC Yukon was eastbound on state Highway 185 and  crossed into the westbound lanes, striking Brandi Lynn Pompa's Pontiac head-on, DPS troopers said.

Misty Hime credits an act of kindness and a pastry item for bringing her and her best friend, Brandi Lynn Pompa, together.

"She offered me a chocolate chip muffin, and that's how we started talking," said Hime, 20, who met Pompa in 2009 while working together at a Port Lavaca Speedy Stop. "She became my partner in crime."

It was true friendship at first bite because the two women soon grew inseparable.

The friends, who got matching heart with crossbones tattoos on their chests, could often be found eating at El Mexicano, their favorite area Mexican restaurant, doing some late night shopping at Walmart, driving around the Crossroads with nowhere in particular to go or singing and dancing to Katy Perry's song "Peacock."

Sadly, the music stopped for the two besties on Wednesday morning when Pompa, 19, was killed in a motor vehicle wreck.

"She'll be greatly missed," said Hime, as her voice cracked over the phone. "She was my other half."

About 6:10 a.m, Pompa was traveling west on state Highway 185 between Bloomington and state Highway 35 in her tan, Pontiac Sunfire, said Department of Public Safety Trooper and Public Information Officer Gerald Bryant.

About a half-mile from the Ineos plant, a black GMC Yukon was eastbound on state Highway 185 and crossed into the westbound lanes, striking Pompa's Pontiac head-on.

As the Yukon and Pontiac spun out of control, the Yukon caught fire and a Toyota Prius that had been traveling west behind Pompa's vehicle, struck the right, front quarter of the Pontiac.

DPS Trooper Ronald Johnson along with several area fire departments, Victoria area DPS troopers, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and area paramedics all worked the wreck scene, said Bryant.

Efrain Garza, the Yukon's 29-year-old driver, was pulled out of the sport utility vehicle before it was fully engulfed in flames.

Garza, a Mission resident, was taken to Citizens Medical Center via ambulance before he was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with broken bones and other non-life threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, the driver of the Toyota, YZ Helms, 86, and his passenger, 61-year-old Kennith Blevins, both of Seadrift, were also taken to Citizens Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

As of Wednesday evening, Blevins had been released from the hospital, while Helms was listed as being in stable condition.

Pompa was not as fortunate.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by Calhoun County Justice of the Peace James Dworaczyk, said Bryant.

At this time, the wreck is still under investigation and no charges have been filed, according to Bryant, who said all persons involved with the wreck were wearing their seatbelts.

Pompa's co-workers realized something was wrong when the usually punctual Pompa did not show up for her training class at her new job at Spherion.

"We were questioning where she was," said Pompa's 19-year-old co-worker Dlecia Cardenas. "She was always 20 or 30 minutes early, so when 7:30 a.m. came, we called, and she didn't answer. "That was not like her."

Pompa's co-workers found out the bad news from their boss about lunchtime.

"No one knew how to react to it," said Cardenas, who said he developed a friendship with Pompa during the five weeks they had been in class together. "She's not here. She won't ever be here anymore."

Hime, who also worked with Pompa, found out the news via a phone call from her mother early in the day.

Hime said she and Pompa normally ride to work together from Seadrift, but that morning Hime decided to drive herself to work so she could surprise her BFF with doughnuts.

"She just said she had this weird feeling and she didn't like going to bed like that," said Hime, as she recalled a Tuesday night conversation she had with Pompa, which turned out to be their last.

Friends described Pompa as a friendly, sweet, outgoing person, who loved to tell jokes and dabbled with playing the guitar.

A divorcee, Pompa was raising her 3-year-old daughter, Bailee, who she nicknamed "little monster" with the help of her parents.

"All she wanted was to do right by her baby," said Kimmy James, 33, one of Pompa's former Bayside Express co-workers.

Although the 2009 Hope High School graduate had previously taken online college classes, as of late, she was working to save money in hopes of putting herself through cosmetology school and becoming a mortician.

Known for her 11 creative tattoos, Pompa always encouraged others to get tattoos, even offering to go with them as they went under the needle.

"She talked me into getting a tattoo," said James. "It took her about a month to convince me."

Friends said Pompa left a lasting impression.

"She was a wonderful person. She was always smiling and had a wonderful attitude, said Cardenas. "She was something else, and I'll miss her dearly."

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