SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A community is in mourning after a tragic multi-vehicle crash on the Northway left two beloved Capital Region residents dead.
According to New York State Police, 28-year-old Jesica Dorronsoro lost control of her vehicle, crossed the median, and was left facing oncoming traffic in the middle lane around 3:49 a.m. on Sunday morning. David H. Johnson of Stony Creek pulled over to help. Both were tragically struck by a box truck and were found deceased when police arrived.
However, friends of Dorronsoro and Johnson said they want both of them to be remembered for the lives they led instead of how they passed away.
“She was a fierce friend, a fierce coworker. She gave everything her all. She was a dedicated mother,” Christina Mondock, Jesica’s manager at Druthers Brewing in Saratoga Springs, said. “I had just worked with her not even 12 hours before. So, I really didn’t think that it was real. I still don’t want to believe it’s real.”
Mondock was Jesica’s friend and coworker for the past ten years. She added that the tight-knit Saratoga restaurant community is still in shock, and Jesica will be sorely missed by the countless customers she held close to her heart.
Jesica also worked as a waitress at Forno Bistro in Saratoga. The Italian restaurant decided to close its doors in honor of Jesica today and tomorrow.
“For those of you that knew Jes, she was a light that shined in our company,” Forno Bistro stated in a Facebook post. “She touched many of our lives with her smile and her laugh.”
In addition to working two jobs, Jesica was a nursing student at Hudson Valley Community College with one year left until graduation. Sarah Brown was her nursing instructor for clinical this year.
“She was a a ball of sunshine,” Brown said. “She would come in and always have questions. Always wanted to learn more the entire semester.”
Brown added that she didn’t need to teach Jesica how to care; that was inherently a part of who she was.
The loss hasn’t been easy on the students who learned alongside Jesica. Hudson Valley Community College nursing instructors met with their students on Monday to share the news of Jesica’s passing and offer grief counseling to anyone who needed it.
Some of her classmates are already discussing the possibility of creating a scholarship fund in Jesica’s name.
Johnson was a beloved member of the Stony Creek community. He passed away as a good samaritan who stopped his car only to help Jesica in a time of need.
Stony Creek residents, Deb and Bob Oeser, said this wasn’t out of character for Johnson.
“He always thought of others before himself, and his passing shows that,” the Oesers said in a statement to News10 ABC. “Dave was the guy with the big beard, the big heart, and a kind soul. He was always there to help no matter what the job.”
Both Johnson and Dorronsoro touched the hearts of many in their communities and will be missed.