UNL faculty, staff and students have established donation funds to help the family of Margarita Marroquín, an agronomy graduate student whose mother died following an Aug. 18 auto accident.
According to police reports, a 2000 Nissan Maxima driven by Marroquín was turning left off 56th Street onto Van Dorn when it was struck by a 2005 Ford Ranger. Marroquín's mother, Luz Guzman-Carrera, and Pedro Rivera, were also in the car. Rescue crews rushed Guzman-Carrera to the hospital, where she died. Marroquín, Rivera and Douglas Walker, driver of the Ford Ranger, were also hospitalized.
Marroquín is a graduate student from Colombia, studying in the lab of UNL's Richard Wilson, assistant professor of plant pathology. Janet Wright, a technician in the lab, said the funds have been established to help the family with medical and funeral expenses.
"Margarita is such a kind and generous person and to see this happen so suddenly to her has been very difficult," Wright said. "The family is having to pay for many things up front and is dealing with all kinds of legal issues as they try to get Margarita's mother home to Colombia for burial. We thought these fundraisers would be a good way to help the family during this difficult time."
A memorial fund has been established at Union Bank. Donations can be made to the Margarita Marroquín fund at any Union Bank location. Donations can also be given via the YouCaring.com website. Funds collected through the website are automatically sent to the Union Bank account.
Wright said a raffle fundraiser is planned for 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 at Mr. Hui's Chinese Restaurant, 3255 Cornhusker Highway. The raffle will feature two tickets to the Sept. 27 homecoming football game against Illinois. Entries can be purchased for $3 each or four for $10. All proceeds will benefit Marroquín's family.
Marroquín has been a graduate student at UNL since December 2013. She received a Master of Science degree in crop protection at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in December 2012, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Universidad del Valle in Colombia in November 2009.