CROWLEY - Nicholas Romero, Sr. recalls something that had become part of his daughter’s routine every time she was out with her friends at night.
“Every night she’d be out she would always call us up at 2 a.m. to tell us not to worry that she was either outside talking with a friend or just to tell us that she was OK,” said Romero of his daughter who graduated from Northside Christian School in May. “She did that simply to comfort us and that is going to be one of the things I’ll miss most.”
When Romero, and his wife Paula, received a phone call at approximately 2 a.m. early Friday morning they possibly assumed it was their daughter, Mitchell, doing what she had always done.
“It was a boy...I’m not even sure off his name, calling to tell us that Mitchell was in a car wreck,” said Romero. “He said it was bad and that she was stuck in the car but all she was shouting was to call her parents.”
Mitchell, who as she often did was serving as the designated driver that night, was rescued from the accident and survived for another four days at American Legion Hospital.
“Mama you don’t know what it’s like when the car is spinning,” said Paula Romero. “I thought I was going to die and all I did was pray.”
For a few days following the accident it seemed that Romero’s prayer was answered However, a routine therapy session ended in tragedy. Though she was suffering from broken ribs, a seat belt mark across her chest and ‘bruises from top to bottom,’ Mitchell, seemed to be responding well.
“They wanted us to take her for a walk down the hall,” said Paula Romero. “And she was walking hard too. She had wanted to work hard that day. She started slow and then began to walk a little faster. But by the time she got about three doors down she dropped. When I looked at her I could tell she was dead.”
“No parents should ever go through what we’re going through right now,” said Nicholas. “My heads been spinning ever since it happened.”
Nicholas Romero has a lot of anger in him towards the driver of the other car, 32-year-old Tyson Dupuis of Crowley, but withheld it as best he could during his interview Tuesday morning.
“I want to talk about Mitchell today,” he said. “We just want people to know what a wonderful person she was.”
From the sound of things, Mitchell was exactly that. She volunteered to bring her father, who is partially blind, to the Ham Festival in Orange, Texas which had ’he never missed.’
“I didn’t even have to ask her,” said Romero. “She knew what weekend it was and how much I loved going there. Told her she didn’t have to go but she was insistent. That’s just the type of person she was.”
“When she took her senior trip she didn’t go to Destin like some of the rest of the people in her class,” added Paula Romero. “She went to Galveston just so that she could bring her brother (Nicholas, Jr., who is handicapped) along. And she paid for everything.”
“They were so close,” said Paula as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Mitchell’s best friend Kaesha Carriere had been like a sister to her (she had even been called ‘Sissy’ by the Romero family practically since she was born) and is considered a part of the Romero’s immediate family, according to Paula. Carriere had similar words when describing Mitchell.
“She was so nice and kind to everyone she came across,” said Carriere. “And everyone she came across said the same thing.”
“It was definitely more than a friendship,” added Carriere. “She was my sister.”
Randy Trahan, the principal of Northside Christian School, told the Romero’s that Mitchell was often referred to as his school’s Mother Theresa because ‘she always wanted to help everybody.’
“I do want to give a special ‘thank you’ to Randy and Emma (Trahan’s wife),” said Nicholas. “They’ve been so supportive.”
The list of Romero’s accomplishments at Northside Christian is impressive. She was very much into the 4-H Club, having been a counselor at 4-H camp. She was the manager of the basketball and baseball teams. And she always volunteered to help with the school fairs.
“And she loved kids,” added Paula. “She could walk into a room and it would light up.”
In fact, upon walking into Mitchell’s room at the Romero residence, Paula was sure to point out the bubbles that were painted on her wall.
“She was always known as being bubbly,” smiled Paula.
An example of her giving nature was the job that she would have started last Monday - she was set to begin working at a place called ‘Living Hearts’ where she would be traveling to people’s homes to take care of disabled people.
“The Lord decided that her work was needed in Heaven,” said Paula through her tears.
“My family was destroyed by a drunk driver,” added Nicholas Sr. “And the ironic part about it is if he would have called her, even though she didn’t know him, she would have probably gone to pick him up and give him a ride.”
Even after her death, Mitchell’s giving spirit was still very much alive. She donated her eyes and her skin to science.