“She was just a blessing, Toni,” Philip Isbelle told NBC 7. “I can't anymore put into words what she was.”
Toni Isbelle, Philip Isbelle’s niece, was killed sitting in the back seat of a car stopped on the side of Interstate 15 Saturday.
A small plane crash-landed into the car at approximately 9:15 a.m.
The single-engine, two-seat Lancair IV crashed on I-15 near State Route 76 about 50 miles north of San Diego.
Philip said he was in shock when he found out what happened to his niece.
“Just broken, I'm just going to miss her. She is always right here like my mom,” Philip said pointing to his heart. “Special place right there.”
“I just can't believe this happened, I just cannot believe this happened,” he said.
He got the call from his brother with the devastating news. At first they thought Toni was just injured.
“He thought she was at the hospital, but she was at the morgue,” he explained.
The suffering is so great, Toni’s family can't even look at a photo of the crash.
“The image of that plane hitting the car, I didn't want that to go in my head, so I just folded it up and put it aside. I just don't want to see it," he said.
Now, just to make it to the next minute they’re focused on the memories.
“She loved what she was doing, roller derby. She loved that. I know every time I seen her she had those shorts on and those skates over her shoulder ready to go…My mom loved to skate, my cousin loved to skate and Toni loved to skate. She just was amazing,” Philip added.
Toni was a member of the San Diego Roller Derby. The 'Aftershocks,’ a sister team, posted condolences on their Facebook page Saturday saying:
"We are hit very hard with the passing of Toni "Rockalicious" Isbelle. She was a great part of our family. Condolences to our sister league San Diego Roller Derby. Your big brothers will always be here for you for anything that you need. We love you Rockalicious!"
The San Diego Roller Derby was planning an event Monday to honor Toni.
A GoFundMe page set up for her family has raised more than $10,000.