Olivia Florez was not afraid of hard work.
Family members of the North Carolina mother of two young daughters said she worked two jobs to make ends meet and ensure her girls, ages 15 and 2, had what they needed.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Florez, 35, was doing just that Wednesday night when the taxi cab she was driving was struck by a 2006 Infiniti. Winston-Salem police officials told the newspaper Florez died at the scene.
The driver of the Infiniti fled on foot, the Journal said.
Ricky Dean, Florez’s brother, told the newspaper his sister drove for the Universal Taxi Cab Co. to earn extra cash. The money she was trying to earn Wednesday was to help pay for her 2-year-old’s upcoming birthday and baptism.
“She worked her jobs and then came home to (take) care of her kids,” Dean told the Journal.
Dean said he refused to believe his sister was dead until he got to the scene of the crash.
“Right now, everyone is in shock,” he said.
That included her co-workers at Universal Taxi, where she had worked since early September, the Journal reported.
“It’s just unbelievable,” driver Laura Chavez said. “It could have been me.”
Florez also worked as a meter reader for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities Division, where she’d worked for about a month.
“I hope they catch the person who hit her,” agency spokeswoman Gale Ketteler told the Journal. “She will be greatly missed.”
Tammy Woodel, Florez’s half-sister, told Fox 8 in High Point that Florez loved her daughters above all else. Woodel expressed anger at the driver of the Infiniti.
“Did they even check on her?” Woodel said, according to the news station. “Did she say anything? Did she have any last words?
“We don’t think they done it on purpose, but you know, they need to make it right.”
Besides her daughters, Florez was also stepmother to two boys, ages 10 and 11, Fox 8 reported.
“Nothing will bring her back, and her kids won’t have a mom anymore,” Florez’s stepsister, Maria Ramirez, said tearfully.
“(They’re going to) have plenty of mamas,” Woodel told her. “Just like we did.”
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