COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) — The reality of losing their daughter so suddenly hasn’t hit yet.
“We’re still waiting for her to come home. It hasn’t sunk in yet that she’s not with us,” Judith Dominguez said, whose daughter was killed in a car crash in Commerce City on Friday.
According to Colorado State Patrol, a Ford F-350 going southbound on Highway 2 went off the highway onto the shoulder, then came back onto the road and crossed the center line—striking two vehicles heading northbound, killing Francesca Dominguez and police officer Curt Holland.
“My girl didn’t deserve to die this way. She was pure and sweet,” Dominguez said.
Francesca—known to family and friends as “Frannie,” had recently turned 31.
Her birthday is now a sacred memory for her father, Daniel, who insists doctors got the time wrong on her birth certificate all those years ago—and celebrates her birthday a day later every year, on Sept. 26.
“I left her a little present on the table, just a little cupcake,” Daniel Dominguez recalled. “I text her, ‘Happy Birthday my little Pumpkin, from your dad.’ She texted me, ‘you’re so silly daddy, but I love you.’”
“For 31 years, that was her and I’s special day. And now, I don’t have that. But, I know she remembers that. And I do, too. And every 26th, I will make sure I don’t forget that,” he said, with tears in his eyes.
Family members say Frannie was generous, thoughtful, and hardworking—who was a kid at heart.
“She loved everything Disneyland. She loved Harry Potter,” her mom said, passing along several pictures of Frannie at Disneyland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with relatives.
The 31-year-old’s true passion, though, was painting—something her parents say she poured herself into after her brother passed away four years ago.
“She’s a very talented girl,” her father Daniel said.
“When we had the video camera on her, she would close up. But down in her room with all her art and her crafts—we were shocked that she did this. But we were proud of her.”
In fact, Frannie was on her way to get more paint supplies for a scheduled Saturday art tutorial that she planned to broadcast live on Facebook.
“We knew something was wrong,” her family said, after no one could get a hold of her after she got off work, Friday night.
Her dad went out looking for her—driving down Highway 2—until he saw all the emergency lights.
“Right as I got to the scene, I can hear in my mind ‘I’m here, Dad.’ But I didn’t believe it.”
On Sunday night, the family said they still felt numb, thinking about what happened.
“We’re all a mess.”
But, they say it’s not good-bye forever.
“She’ll always be my little Pumpkin,” Daniel said. “She’s asleep, but it’s not good night yet. There will be one day I get up there and it will be joyful.”
He also told FOX31 he wants to extend his condolences to the family of Curt Holland.
An online fundraiser has been set up for Frannie—click here for more information.