San Diego

‘A Hero Rests Here': Priest Launches Fundraiser for Young Woman Killed Helping Others

Four months after a young mother was killed while she was helping two crash victims on state Route 94, a priest is asking the community to step up and raise money to buy a headstone to mark the woman's grave.

Bertha Estrada would be 20 years old this week but the young woman was struck and killed by a Jeep after she stopped to help two people who were stranded on the freeway in Golden Hill on November 1.

Bertha Estrada, the mother of a two-year-old, was the type of person that always helped others, her mother, Elke Estrada, told Telemundo 20.

"My daughter is a warrior, she gave her life to help other people," Elke Estrada said in Spanish. 

Elke Estrada wants the place where her daughter is buried, at Glen Abbey Memorial Park and Mortuary, to reflect the same joy and generosity that characterized the young woman's life.

She is saving money to buy her daughter a headstone that would replace the small plaque that currently sits at her daughter's grave. But Elke Estrada recently lost her job and is struggling to pay for the headstone on her own.

Father Dermot, whom Elke Estrada met at the cemetery where her daughter is buried, has offered to help. 

"I'm going to open a page on Facebook, which will be called 'No Greater Love' and people will be able to contribute there what comes out of their heart," Father Dermot said in Spanish.

Elke Estrada called the priest "an angel" and said there are not enough words to thank him. 

"He told me that he was going to help me, not to worry and that everything was going to be OK," she said through tears. 

The account will be created on April 11, the day that Bertha Estrada would have turned 20 years old.

"I want everyone to know that a hero rests here," he said.

Those wishing to help Elke Estrada raise money for a headstone can type "No Greater Love" into Facebook's search starting on April 11.

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