The family of a young girl who was killed in a horrible accident Friday, Sept. 1, is asking the community for help with expenses, not only for the funeral, but to raise the young woman's daughter.
18-year old Celeste Gauna was killed in a horrible accident while coming home from Austin that night.
The accident happened at around 9:30 p.m. Friday, on I-37 in Mathis. 18-year old Celeste Gauna was the passenger in a vehicle when it was T-boned, killing bother her and the driver. Two young men who were riding in the backseat survived.
"She was killed in half a second, and she died with a smile on her face," said Jessica Dominguez, Gauna's mother. "She actually had a smile when they identified her. I saw her. She never saw it coming."
Celie, as Gauna's friends called her, was coming home from Austin. She had just gotten into culinary school. An irony of sorts, because her mother says "she was a terrible cook. A terrible cook." Despite that, she was eager to learn.
Gauna was supposed to take a Greyhound bus, but at the last minute decided to ride with her friends from school.
"The reason she went with her friends is that she wanted to save $15. I don't know why I didn't say anything. She could have just gotten on that Greyhound bus," Dominguez said. "I never got to tell her how proud I was of her. This was the weekend I was going to tell her how proud I was of her."
Dominguez now has to come up with over $12,000 to pay for her daughter's funeral. They have come up with half, but she is asking for help; help from the community, help she never thought she would have to ask for.
"I just wish there was a lot of things I could have done," Dominguez said.
It's not just the burial expenses, but the expense that now comes with raising her granddaughter.
"I get to do it all over again, because her baby looks identical to her," Dominguez said.
Dominguez said that her daughter had just gotten an apartment, and daycare for her baby. She even had a job interview lined up.
"She never got the chance," Dominguez said. "Don't hesitate to tell them what you need to tell them; that you love them, that you care for them. You might be like me, and never have a chance, you know?"
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, at the Corpus Christi Funeral Home. Doors will open at 1 p.m. because so many are expected to attend. The family asks that everyone please wear lime green, Gauna's favorite color. The burial will take place at 10 a.m. Monday, at Rose Hill Memorial Park, located at 2731 Comanche Street. Everyone is welcome to attend.
There will be two benefit barbecues scheduled for Gauna this Saturday.
One will have barbecue and burger plates, along with a bake sale, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Molina Neighborhood Center, located at 614 Horne Road.
The other will also have barbecue for $7 a plate, as well as a car show and a Moon Jump for children, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Leal Brothers Paint and Body Shop, located at 4533 Kostoryz Road.
There is also a Celeste Gauna Benefit Account at First National Bank. If you would like to make a donation, the account number is #0231031998.
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