Viewing underway for Edinburg 21-year-old killed in crash while job hunting

Maria Tovar didn't just lose a nephew, she said she lost a friend.

"It's hard not to see him anymore," she told Action 4's Ryan Wolf. "It's hard not receiving a phone call or a text."

Isaac Saldana was her rock.

"Keep my chin up," she said he would tell her. "He was always telling me I was beautiful."

The 21-year-old helped her through self-esteem issues and with a recent separation.

"He stayed with me for a couple of days and he would be encouraging me," she said.

But that bond has been broken.

A viewing that took place Friday at Virgil Wilson Funeral Home in Mission was the last time Tovar got to see her nephew's face in person.

The Edinburg North graduate will be buried over the weekend.

Saldana died Monday in a 2-vehicle accident on FM 1925 West of Shary Road in Hidalgo County, according to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Tovar said he was one of 3 passengers in his seatbelt when a friend lost control of the vehicle.

"Instead of hitting the car in the front, he tried to pass him," she explained. "But when he tried to pass him, there was another car coming and that's when the impact occurred."

Tovar's 18-year old nephew, Jose Saldana, who's also Isaac's brother, was critically injured.

He needed surgery for an eye socket fracture and suffered broken hips, according to Tovar.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the wreck was sent to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Tovar said her late nephew was job hunting when he passed away.

She misses his love.

"Now everyday that I wake up, I don't have it," Tovar said while wiping away tears. "It's not there."

Saldana's family is collecting money to help with funeral expenses.

A donation can be made at Virgil Wilson Funeral Home on 2200 North Conway in Mission in care of Isaac Saldana.