Port Lavaca woman dies in early morning wreck

April 11, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
Updated April 10, 2011 at 11:11 p.m.

Noemi Valero was always a hugger.

She would hug to say hello.

Those hugs amount to just one of the things the 19-year-old would do that her good friend JoAnn Gonzales is going to miss.

"She was a very nice person," Gonzales said. "Always smiling."

On Monday, Valero, of Port Lavaca, died in a one-vehicle wreck on Farm-to-Market Road 1090 just east of Kemper Road, according to Texas Department of Public Safety reports.

Valero was traveling from Victoria to Port Lavaca. About 3:45 a.m., she crossed the center stripe, drove into the ditch, over-corrected and rolled her 2002 Toyota Forerunner several times, Trooper Gerald Bryant said.

Valero was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, Bryant said.

The vehicle came to a stop in the ditch.

"It's too early to say whether alcohol was involved," Bryant said. "The accident is still under investigation. At this time, it appears speed was a factor in the crash."

The location of the wreck is near the Victoria County and Calhoun County line, but just inside Victoria County, Bryant said.

Gonzales, 40, attended church with Valero at Central Baptist Church in Port Lavaca and had known her since she was a baby, she said.

The two worked together with Vacation Bible School.

News of her death took a while to sink in, Gonzales said.

"She was so young and full of life," she said.

An autopsy has been ordered, Bryant said.



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