Victoria woman, 51, found in wreck dies (Video)

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Sept. 30, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.
Updated Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:01 a.m.

A Victoria woman died Sunday evening just hours after passers-by discovered her critically injured in a wrecked vehicle along Bottom Road in Victoria County.

Julia Ann Salazar, 51, was discovered in a ditch about 4:30 p.m. in a red 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo near the intersection of Bottom and Hiller roads, said Trooper Wayne Cipriani, of the Department of Public Safety.

Salazar, who was found conscious with a weak pulse, was alone in the car, Cipriani said.

She was transported by ambulance to Citizens Medical Center. A hospital official confirmed Salazar died about 7 p.m.

Salazar's brother-in-law, Mike Rivera, said she was driving home from a barbecue community benefit about 1:30 p.m. and was using back roads as she normally did on her drive home.

"She was always helping those in need and never asking for anything in return," Rivera said. "She found a crucifix she liked at the benefit and was driving home from picking it up."

Rivera said his sister-in-law's presence at the benefit fundraiser was not unusual because she was known for going out of her way to help those in need.

"She was a loving and caring person. She would take care of the sick and feed the poor and homeless. She volunteered in nursing homes and she would go and visit the prisons," Rivera said.

"She was a kind-hearted person, a Christian person. ... She'd give you the coat off her back if you needed it."

Cipriani said Salazar was traveling north on Bottom Road at an unknown speed when her car flipped and crashed in a ditch.

The Monte Carlo landed on its wheels, but the roof was crushed. The airbags deployed, but officials suspect Salazar was not wearing her seat belt.

It is unknown how long the car was in the ditch before it was discovered, but Salazar was found about three hours after she left the benefit. When the wreck was reported, the vehicle's muffler was cold, indicating it had been there for some time, Cipriani said.

Salazar died of her injuries sometime before 7 p.m.

No immediate cause of the wreck is known, Cipriani said.

Rivera said Salazar was a woman with a great sense of humor, and someone who loved cats. She collected cat figurines and took care of at least four cats at home.

She is survived by her son, Michael Salazar, and five siblings, her twin brother, Lucio Salazar, Leon Salazar, Johnny Salazar, Liz Alvarado and Ovelia Rivera.

"She'll be most remembered for her kindness and willingness to help others. She was so gentle, and she never asked for anything in return," Rivera said.

Funeral services are pending, Rivera said.



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