SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Just two weeks ago, Maria Selena Patino was laughing and having fun with her college classmates while they worked out in the TSTC gym.
Now, her friends are mourning her.
Patino, 19, of Los Fresnos, died when she was taken off life-support on Sunday. She succumbed to injuries she sustained from a hit-and-run crash while at South Padre Island for Spring Break.
Yesterday, a charge against a Houston area woman accused in the hit-and-run was upgraded from accident involving injury to manslaughter.
Because of Patino’s untimely death, many of her family and friends have turned to social media to remember her infectious way of making everyone laugh.
Facebook friend Julee LaMure sent her condolences to the family.
Her friend Loraine Jaii recalled on Facebook how motivating Patino was for her on the days they worked out together.
And one of her family members uploaded a photo of Selena on her tricycle holding her doll and showing off the big smile everyone knew her for.
The community also has come to the family’s aid.
In just three days, Patino’s GoFundMe account has received $2,575. The account has a goal of $10,000 as people who knew her have been leaving $20 to $50 every 10 minutes.
The largest contribution has come from South Padre Island Mayor Barry Patel who left $500 while another $300 came from Island Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Stahl and his wife Anna.
The GoFundMe account has been set up to help her family with medical and funeral expenses.
On Friday morning, Patino was one of five people struck in a South Padre Island hit-and-run accident.
Island police say a Houston area woman has been charged.
Daisy Joy Decker, 20, of Sugarland, was arraigned Sunday and charged with multiple counts of accident involving personal injury in connection with the Friday morning auto pedestrian accident on Gulf Boulevard.
Late yesterday afternoon, Decker’s charge was upgraded to manslaughter and her bond was elevated to $180,000.
Police say Decker struck the victims just after midnight in the 4200 block of Gulf Boulevard and then fled in a dark colored Honda CR-V.
Three of the victims were found lying on the road suffering serious injuries and two others had minor injuries. The victims ranged in age from 16 to 22.
Decker was arrested Friday afternoon after someone called police about the vehicle in question.