September 1, 2021 1217 PM
PRESIDIO COUNTY — Juana Montoya and her mother, Guadalupe Dominguez, passed away in a car accident on Friday, August 27, outside of Marfa. In the wake of the sudden tragedy, the Presidio community has come together to support a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the family pay for the unexpected funeral costs.
One minute before 7 p.m. on Friday, Montoya was driving north with her mother on U.S. Highway 67 when a southbound vehicle crossed into her lane, striking them head on, according to a preliminary investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Montoya, 54, and Dominguez, 89, were killed 24 miles south of Marfa. The other driver was taken to the Big Bend Regional Medical Center and survived with non-incapacitating injuries.
In the wake of the accident, Montoya, a mother of six, and Dominguez, a mother of five, leave behind a large and loving family. Both were lifelong residents of Presidio where Montoya was a former Lucy Rede Franco Middle School cafeteria staff member and Dominguez was a homemaker.
Dominguez was “the most lovable grandma,” said Irene Contreras, the stepdaughter of Montoya and step-granddaughter of Dominguez. “At her 89 years of age she would know everything about us, always asking how we were doing and caring for all of us.”
Montoya “always cared a lot for all her kids,” Irene said. “I loved my mom, she was my best friend and was ALWAYS there for me and my children.” She raised Irene from the age of five, also parenting stepson Aaron Perez, daughter Daisy Perez and sons Edgar Perez, Ivan Perez and Andy Perez.
Andy, 18, just started college at the Odessa Community College this semester. While he was still a senior at Presidio High School, he was a junior volunteer with the Presidio Volunteer Fire Department.
While it can be tough to recruit volunteers to the department, PVFD Chief Saul Pardo called the junior volunteers a blessing, including Andy, who sacrificed his free time to assist the department with brush fires, structure fires, bee problems, automotive accidents and other events where community activities required the department’s assistance.
“We try and help the community in any way we can,” Pardo said. “Being volunteers means we sacrifice our time, our life to help others in need with no true compensation. This time we are trying to help one of our own.”
In the hopes of returning the support that Andy gave to Presidio, the PVFD organized a GoFundMe page that has been set up to help the family cover funeral expenses for the sudden loss of Montoya and Dominguez.
“We strongly believe this time is our turn to help his family who is in need of financial assistance due to losing two loved ones at the same time,” Pardo said. “Any funeral service can be expensive no matter how simple the service may be. We ask our community to help us help Andy.”
Those who wish to donate to support the family can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/helping-a-fellow-firefighter-and-his-family to leave a donation. In an outpouring of support, the community had already raised over $7,000 toward the $10,000 goal at press time.
According to the family, funeral arrangements are being made and will be announced soon.