Family shares memories of mother who died in fiery crash

- Family and friends of a woman who died last week in a fiery car crash are speaking to FOX 7.

They say they are doing all they can to stay strong for the 2-year-old little girl that woman left behind. 
 
There are many ways in which Robert Martinez says he'll remember his little sister. 

"The news is still fresh and we're all still here in shock and grief. Grieving together but overall, we want to remember Ashley as that positive part of the community that was very selfless and gave back to people around her and would light up a room as soon as she walked in," says Robert Martinez, brother. 

23-year-old Ashley Martinez was one of two people who died in a fiery crash last Thursday. The second person who was in the vehicle with Martinez was identified by police as 15-year-old Eloy Herrera who also died. One witness captured it by cell phone hoping it could help in the investigation. Austin police say the SUV was stopped for an unknown reason on I35 near 290, when all of a sudden it was struck by an 18-wheeler headed northbound. That's when the car ignited in flames. It's a tragedy that Ashley's loved ones are still trying to understand.

"That was my best friend and I can't do anything about it. I can only talk to her and I hope that she's listening, I really do," says Sabrina Martz, best friend. 

But, part of Ashley is still here.

"This is Gaby. She is two years old," says Robert.

She leaves behind a beautiful little girl. Family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page, not just to help with funeral expenses but help make sure Gaby is taken care of. 

"We really need all the support. I mean, even if we have some measure of awareness that we might have a handle on things, we do require a lot more support because she's not going to be there to see her daughter grow up and have those memories that we're going to share with her. So we're going to have to compensate even more," says Robert. 
    
A memorial now sits near the crash site, filled with flowers, balloons and crosses. It all honors Ashley and was started by the woman who tried to rescue her that day. 

"I really, really, really want to thank Leslie Valdez because she's a true hero. I swear she is. You're in my prayers too. You shouldn't have had to see that but thank you for trying, it really means a lot to all of us," says Martz.    

Ashley was taken suddenly, but family and friends say they cherish every moment they got to spend with her. 

"Friends, family, even down to her child, she's made a positive impact on everybody," says Robert.
To help the family and support two-year-old Gaby, click here: https://www.gofundme.com.

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