.

School District Employee Killed in Gilroy 'Loved Life'

Crystal De La Torre, 28, died in a car accident Saturday after her car veered off the roadway.

The smell of meals being prepared at the school district offices was a weekly phenomenon.

Crystal De La Torre and a group of Campbell Union School District employees would take turns cooking a meal for the group to enjoy. Last Wednesday, she invited Superintendent Dr. Eric Andrew to join them.

"I missed last Wednesday's lunch," Andrew says. "I asked Crystal, 'Where's the food,' and she told me 'You snooze, you lose but you may want to stop in next Wednesday.' That was the last time I spoke with her."

De La Torre, of who lived most recently in Milpitas after moving from Gilroy, was driving south on U.S. Highway 101 Saturday when her Honda Civic veered off the roadway near Sixth Street at about 4:15 a.m., killing her, according to the CHP.

Today was to be De La Torre's first day in her new position as Secretary in the Special Education Dept. Instead, school district employees gathered together to sit and talk and grieve over her loss, Andrew says.

"We wanted to acknowledge the death but also the wonderful things she did," he says.

Andrew first met De La Torre when she started at the district in 2008 as a secretary in the School Services Department.

His first impressions of her still ring true in his mind.

"She was a shining light of happiness," Andrew said. "You could tell she loved life."

She was a hardworking employee, always staying late, but not without a smile, he said.

"She was a great young lady," Andrew said. "She was hardworking yet jovial, quick-witted and well liked by everyone and this was evident and infectious when you were around her. She was like my work daughter."

Mary Lou Danz, secretary to the superintendent had worked with De La Torre for five years.

“We are a small district and very close-knit,” Danz said. “She was like a daughter to me.”

Danz said that when she first met De La Torre five years ago, the “stunningly beautiful young girl” left an impression on her.

“She was very inspiring,” Danz said. “She had the best sense of humor, the best laugh. She could touch your heart.”

Danz said she would watch De La Torre work with parents calling in, listening to both sides with empathy.

“She was very giving of herself,” she said.

According to Danz, De La Torre had recently secured a new apartment closer to the district offices and was continuing her education.

“She had everything going for her,” Danz said. “We are definitely going to miss her.”

The school district is currently in the process of deciding in what way it will memorialize De La Torre. In the past, this has been done with a planting on the school district's campus or with a plaque.

"It needs to be a good representation to remember the person she was," Andrew said, "something that epitomizes her spirit."

 For now, the district will remember De La Torre's smile and her impact on the lives she touched.

"She was a beautiful person — inside and out," said Marla Sanchez, district spokeswoman. "We are tremendously saddened about losing her, but tremendously grateful for having known her."

Melissa Garcia September 28, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Chrystal De La Torre started working @ Comcast when she was 19 years old (I met her there when the call center first opened) Chrystal then left in 2007 to work @ the Campbell School District. She was a very sweet yet naïve and VERY pretty young girl, close to my own daughter's age. Within the 5 years I worked with her I saw her grow up & mature into a young woman. After a meeting @ Comcast - I went with friends to the crash site & saw flowers & other things people left there for her. It made me think ALLOT about how BLESSED we are & to warn our YOUNG PEOPLE (young & old) NOT to drive drunk, distracted, text messaging, using their cell phone without a "hands free" device, you name it, ANYTHING can cause an accident the minute you take your eyes off the road - BE CAREFUL!!! This hit me personally because of a similar situation (in my own family) in which 2 people I LOVE VERY MUCH – SURVIVED & ARE THRIVING - I THANK GOD EVERDAY THAT THEY ARE ALIVE & WELL - Sadly Chrystal's live is over on this earth, but I am sure she's in Heaven! My heart goes out to Chrystal’s parents, and family, I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE HOW THEY MUST FEEL… I know that they were very proud of their daughter & her accomplishments – even at such a young age, Chrystal travelled allot & lived life to the fullest. Please pray for the De La Torre family in Gilroy.
Melissa Garcia September 28, 2012 at 07:33 AM
CONTINUED... PLEASE *DO NOT ASSUME* THAT I WAS IMPLYING THAT MS. DE LA TORRE WAS DRINKING OR DISTRACTED WHEN THIS CAR ACCIDENT OCCURED. NO ONE KNOWS THE DETAILS OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS ACCIDENT. I WAS ONLY USING GENERAL TERMS & DID NOT MEAN TO OFFEND ANYONE. SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY WAS IN A SIMILAR ACCIDENT & THE CAUSE WAS “DISTRACTED DRIVING” ** I WANTED TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT NO ONE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT *** GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY CHRYSTAL! ;-)
hongfeng January 02, 2013 at 08:40 AM
http://www.coachoutletonlinebfd.com/ Coach Outlet Online http://www.guccibeltstb.com/ Gucci Belt http://www.coachoutletonlinetdy.com/ Coach Outlet Store Online http://www.cocoachoutletonline.org/ Coach Outlet Online s http://www.coachoutletonlinetsy.net/ Coach Online Outlet

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »