Family of Odessa mom killed in crash says one man's intuition saved injured children
Icy roads in the Permian Basin have taken yet another life, only this time leaving seven kids without their mother.
Late Sunday night, Elisabeth Valenzuela, 28, and four of her children were involved in a roll over nearly 40 miles west of Balmorhea.
Elisabeth didn’t survive the crash, but fortunately her children did, who range in age from one to five.
CBS 7 News spoke exclusively with Elisabeth’s brother, who said if it were not for one man’s intuition, he and his family would most likely be planning a funeral for five instead of one.
It’s often said that love is the greatest gift of all, and for Elisabeth, she used that gift of love to keep seven beautiful hearts filled.
“Her family was number one, she loved her kids, she took care of them, she spoiled them in every way she could and they knew that she loved them,” Elisabeth’s brother Mike Martinez said.
Just before the New Year rang, Elisabeth and her four youngest children were heading back to Odessa after having spent Christmas with family in El Paso.
But before they could make it home, Elisabeth lost control of her car and ended up rolling several times before coming to a stop.
“It was cold, it was foggy, and I mean, it’s just secluded,” Martinez said as he described the scene of the accident. “There’s nobody out there, hardly even any lights, it’s just a dark, dark area.”
Unfortunately, Elisabeth was ejected and killed on impact.
Stuck inside the car just feet away were her four children -- all of them still alive with minor bruising and scrapes.
Elisabeth’s brother said their guardian angel that night was the driver of an 18-wheeler who happened to see the aftermath.
“Luckily he saw there was an issue and he phoned it in, otherwise those poor kids, I don’t know how long they were out there for, but 10 degree weather, who knows how long they would’ve lasted,” Martinez explained as he tried to fight back tears. “If you’re listening to this, thank you very much, you saved the four little ones that were in there.”
Elisabeth’s seven kids were reunited Monday and are now in the care of their mom’s side of the family in El Paso.
“I say this all the time, just hold on to your loved ones for as long as you can,” Martinez said. “Your New Year’s resolution should be to spend more time with family.”
Elisabeth and her kids were only a few weeks out from moving back to El Paso where she’s originally from.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for her kids and funeral expenses, if you would like to make a donation