Minerva and Liliana Torres had “the closest relationship I think any mother and daughter could have,” one family member said.

On Saturday night, Minerva, 51, and Liliana, 19, both of Seadrift, died in a two vehicle and train wreck in Bloomington.

Minerva’s cousin, Rosie Doherty, said the Torres family is large and tight knit, often getting together for cookouts on the weekends. The family recently gathered to celebrate Minerva’s father’s 75th birthday.

Minerva was at the center of it all, devoting herself to her children and showing up to special occasions dressed to impress. She loved to dance and enjoyed knitting blankets, shoes and caps for her younger relatives.

“She was just a happy soul,” said Doherty, who lives in San Benito.

Minerva had a special bond with her daughter Liliana, and the two of them spent lots of time together. Doherty said they were returning home to Seadrift from a shopping trip when the crash occurred.

“There’s not a closer bond and a closer unitedness,” Doherty said of Liliana’s relationship with her mother. “It was not just, ‘You’re my daughter.’ It was, ‘Oh, you are my friend.’”

Liliana was an excellent student, Doherty said, as well as a four-year member of the Sandette drill team at Calhoun High School. Several photos shared by the drill team on Facebook show her glittering in a sequined black gown with a large white belt and white field boots.

Liliana also served in Anchor Club and was a National Honor Society member, said Sandettes director Ashleigh Wood, who coached Liliana for two years and had her as a student in world geography class. She was attending University of Houston-Victoria this fall.

Wood described Liliana as an “extremely hard worker” who helped choreograph the Sandettes’ dance routines and had a smile that “took over her entire face.”

Once, memorably, Liliana forgot her field boots when the Sandettes were scheduled to perform at halftime of a Sandcrabs playoff game at the Alamodome. She danced anyway.

“She is most likely the only Sandette in history to pass white tube socks off as field boots,” Wood said.

The Sandettes are planning to dedicate their upcoming halftime performance at Calhoun’s football game against Alice this Friday to Liliana and the Torres family.

Marie Martinez, the general manager of Bubba’s Cajun Style Seafood in Seadrift, said Liliana worked there as a waitress and was one of the restaurant’s best employees.

A memorial benefit will take place at Bubba’s on Nov. 13, with drive-thru plates available for pickup, a bake sale and a silent auction in the evening. All funds raised will go toward burial costs and any unexpected debts incurred by the family.

Bubba’s is seeking brisket and food donations, monetary donations and items for the silent auction, Martinez said.

Minerva is survived by her husband Eduardo Sr., her daughter Lorena and two sons, Eduardo and Enrique, Doherty said.

The family will hold joint services for the mother and daughter.

A visitation will be held at Grace Funeral Chapel in Port Lavaca from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church in Port Lavaca, followed by a burial in Seadrift.

Steven Carreon, 34, was the driver of the pickup truck that authorities say struck the Torres’ vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed, propelling their sedan into a passing train.

Carreon, of Port Lavaca, died from his injuries on Sunday.

Sgt. Ruben San Miguel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said DPS is still waiting on a toxicology report from the medical examiner.

“We’re looking at every option to determine the contributing factors,” he said.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at mrosenberg@vicad.com or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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