Crash survivor mourning two Brandeis classmates, friends

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 9:32 PM

Brandeis students wreck

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SAN ANTONIO -- “I’m doing good, I’m just in a lot of pain,” said Monique Castaneda. “Momo,” as she is known by her friends, is talking through that pain: A broken nose, broken hand and bruised lungs.

“An accident occurred, which I don’t remember anything at all,” she said.

Monique said she only remembers bits and pieces of the day. The 18-year-old doesn’t remember the off-campus lunch break, the car ride or the tragedy.

On Tuesday, Castaneda and three other students were traveling at a high rate of speed along Loop 1604’s eastbound access lane. Officers said the driver, Antonio Flores, was attempting to improperly pass a truck that ended up making a left hand turn. The two vehicles collided, killing two girls in the back seat of the Mitsubishi Lancer.

Flores remains hospitalized in stable condition.
 
The physical pain, Castaneda said, is nothing compared to the emotional pain of losing two of her best friends in the crash: 16-year old Gina Rodriguez and 17-year old Gabby Lerma.
 
Gabby, she said, was like a sister.
 
Castaneda is recovering at home.  Although doctors said she may be able to return to school next week, Castaneda said it may take longer just because her two classmates won’t be there to greet her.
 
“It’s kind of hard losing two best friends that you’ve been with through a lot. I really miss them and wish they didn’t go,” she said through tears.

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