Family mourn Victoria woman killed in hit-and-run

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  • The family needs help with paying for the funeral. The funeral is expected to cost $5,495. To make a donation, drop off cash at Artero Memorial Chapels, 706 E. Crestwood Drive.

A Victoria family is grieving the loss of a mother of two who they say was not afraid to express her opinion.

Natalie Luna, 22, died early Saturday morning after she was hit by a car in the 500 block of Delmar Drive.

"Sometimes, she was real loud. She was kind of crazy," Luna's sister, Lillian Hernandez, said Monday night. "Her kids (ages 1 and 2) have been saying, 'Momma.' They don't really know what's going on, but they will."

The suspected driver, Hector Garcia, 46, of Victoria, was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter.

He was released from the Victoria County jail Sunday after posting a $50,000 bond.

"I don't think it was on accident," Hernandez said of the wreck.

Dressed in a black and white checkered sweater she borrowed from her sister, Luna was making the 35-minute walk home after she and some of her friends were a part of a fight at a nearby club and were asked to leave.

There was no sidewalk, and Luna was on the right side of the road beside one of her friends. Luna was standing closest to the road but was not in it, Hernandez said.

Hernandez and two other men were walking side by side about 5 feet in front of Luna.

Hernandez, 21, remembered Garcia approaching from behind in an older model jeep. She said he sped up when he saw them and swerved.

"He (the man walking beside Luna) tried to pull her out of the way, but it was too late," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said Luna knew Garcia as well.

About a week earlier at the same club, Luna got into a fight with Garcia. Then, he swung at her, so Luna pulled out a knife, and he backed away. As they were leaving the club Saturday morning, Luna saw Garcia again, Hernandez said.

"My sister pointed him out and said, 'Look that guy is here - the one we got into it with last weekend,'" Hernandez said. "It doesn't make sense how our friend didn't get hit with her (Luna). Basically, it just seems like the car was just aimed for her."

Luna was revived at the scene. After she was taken to the hospital, doctors reviewed an MRI scan that showed Luna's neck and collarbone were severely injured. She died about an hour later when her lung collapsed, Hernandez said.

Hernandez was told that moments before the wreck, Luna was thinking about her family.

"She had told my homeboy that she would do anything for me and my kids and that she loved us so much and she would do whatever it takes," Hernandez said.

Luna used to work as a stocker at Wal-Mart.

Recently, Luna was happy because she got custody of her daughter.

"Her son - he'd rather stay with his daddy, but he loved his mother. He loved her so much. Nobody could replace her, you know?"

Diana Balli, 59, of Victoria, was good friends with Luna's mom. Balli agreed her children were the world to Luna.

"Natalie was always makings her mom and me laugh. She was always so kindhearted. I lived long enough to know that God always takes the best," Balli wrote in a Facebook message.

Luna is survived by her parents, two brothers, two other sisters and the father of her two children.

Funeral arrangements are pending.