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Community mourns Linda Vela

Community mourns Linda Vela

LA VERNIA Students and faculty at La Vernia High School are mourning the loss of one of their own. Linda Vela, 16, a junior at the high school, died Feb. 10 after being struck by a vehicle on F.M. 1346.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Vela and her brother were walking along the highway to C.R. 357, possibly to wait for the arrival of a school bus, said Trooper Harold Estep of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol. The youngsters allegedly walked into the travel lane to avoid a puddle when a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria driven by 33-year-old Gregory Rodriguez struck Linda. Estep, who assisted fellow DPS Trooper Anthony Flores with the investigation, said Rodriguez stopped to render aid and called 911 at 6:32 a.m. to report the incident.

Jim Burdette, justice of the peace for Wilson County Pct. 3, pronounced Linda dead at the scene at 7:02 a.m. He said, however, it was apparent that she died instantly. No one else was injured.

“[Linda] was a wonderful student and we loved her a lot,” said Superintendent Tom Harvey of the La Vernia Independent School District. “Her mother is a substitute teacher for the district. Our staff and students are extremely saddened by her death and touched by her loss.”

Counselors were on hand to assist grieving students Feb. 10, he said.

Services for Linda took place Feb. 12 in the Hope Assembly Church in La Vernia. She was laid to rest in the Kicaster Cemetery in Wilson County. See full obituary, page 3.

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