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18-year-old Port Lavaca woman's organs to be donated after December wreck

By Sara Sneath
Jan. 6, 2014 at 8 p.m.
Updated Jan. 6, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.


HOW TO HELP

To donate to the family for Tearsten's medical expenses and her family's hotel, gas and food, go to any Wells Fargo Bank and ask for the account in care of Josh Whitaker and Yvette Munoz Whitaker for Tearsten Casanova.

An 18-year-old Port Lavaca woman who was injured in a two-vehicle wreck in late December is donating her organs.

Tearsten Casanova, 18, of Port Lavaca, was taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi following a two-vehicle wreck Dec. 26. Casanova's family was informed that she suffered brain death Monday, said Vicky Whitaker, Casanova's grandma.

The family will be taking her off life support.

Whitaker said Casanova had identified that she wanted to donate her organs on her driver's license.

"She made that decision on her own," Whitaker said. "Her parents are very proud of her for doing that."

She said her granddaughter was a loving and carefree girl.

"There was never a dull moment," said Casanova's sister, Amber Whitaker, 17, of Port Lavaca. "She's like my best friend."

Casanova was on the way to Victoria Mall to buy new clothes with her Christmas money when the wreck happened, Whitaker said.

Casanova was a passenger in a Mazda M3i that collided with a Ford F-250 truck at Farm-to-Market Road 2433 and U.S. Highway 87. The driver of the Mazda M3i, John Patrick Torres Jr., 18, of Port Lavaca, died at the scene. Two other teenage passengers in the Mazda were injured.

Brooke Llorance, 19, of Port Lavaca, was flown to University Hospital in San Antonio after the wreck. She has left ICU and is off the respirator, her mom said Sunday afternoon.

Sean Herrera, 17, of Port Lavaca, was transported to Citizens Medical Center and later flown to University Hospital in San Antonio; he was released Dec. 30.

The teenagers were headed north on Farm-to-Market Road 2433, turning onto U.S. Highway 87 when their vehicle collided with a Ford F-250 headed south.

No one in the Ford pickup, which was driven by Richard Ward, 37, of Port Lavaca, was reported injured.

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