LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock teenager is dead and two others are in critical condition at the hospital after an early Sunday morning car accident.
Police say 19-year-old Samantha Martinez died instantly after she was ejected from the back seat of a car.
Investigators say David Gonzalez, 31, was driving an Eclipse westbound on Loop 289 around 2:30 a.m. when he swerved and hit the guardrail. The car flipped several times as it went over the rail and down the embankment near North Quaker.
Gonzalez was rushed to UMC with life threatening injuries. Police say the front seat passenger 18-year-old Dawnyelle Rios was ejected and also taken to UMC with life threatening injuries. Sunday hospital officials said she was in surgical intensive care.
Both Martinez and Rios were not wearing seatbelts during the accident.
The news of her death shook the church community of the Emmanuel Worship Center in Lubbock. "We're just in disbelief because we can't accept that this has happened," said Mary Duenes a church member and friend of the family.
"They announced it to the church this morning and there was a lot of sadness. We're very close to this family and they're very active in our church. We loved them dearly. A big part of our family here today was missing," said Duenes.
Not only was Martinez dedicated to her faith, but she was also a dedicated to her country. "I'm retired military so we hit it off because she's active duty Reserve," said Jimmy Duenes. "She had just been released from training, and she was enrolled to start Tech in the fall."
At only 19-years-old, the Duenes say Samantha was an inspiration to many. "She was just always real positive and real excited about life. It's just a difficult situation to deal with," said Jimmy.
"She left a legacy of just having such a positive attitude. She was serving our country; she was making a difference in our lives. Our students were devastated this morning because she impacted our lives in the short amount of time that we knew here," said Mary.
Police are still investigating what could have caused the accident.