Nurse recalls trying to save teen killed in northeast Harris County wreck


Authorities say the truck was entering Highway 90 when it hit another car, swerved and rolled several times on Friday afternoon. They say Sam Saldana was thrown from the car and died from his injuries. But before authorities got there, a good Samaritan tried to help save him.

Saldana was a sophomore at HISD's Davis High School. His friends have been doing small things in his memory while also trying to raise money for his funeral. Stefanie Gilmore never knew him, but she says she feels forever connected to him.

Outside Saldana's Fifth Ward home is a shrine of pictures and flowers for the 17-year-old high school sophomore killed last week. His beloved barber chair is empty.

Gilmore is heartbroken.

"He's just a baby. I can only imagine how his parents are feeling right now," Gilmore said.

Gilmore was driving by the crash scene on Highway 90 near Uvalde Friday afternoon when she felt compelled to stop.

"That young man, I felt like he needed me and I didn't think twice," she said.

Saldana was lying on the ground and wasn't breathing. He had been ejected from the back seat of the pickup truck he was riding in. Gilmore is a certified nurse assistant with two children about the same age.

"I immediately thought about my kids," she said.

She joined another man to give Saldana CPR. For the time he was at the scene, it worked.

"He started breathing; he had a strong pulse, very strong pulse," Gilmore said.

But the teen couldn't hang on; he died at the hospital. Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators believe the person driving the truck he was in made an unsafe lane change and hit another truck. Though he wasn't at fault, the other driver took off.

"They just kept going. That's heartless, that's somebody's child," Gilmore said.

Investigators are looking for that other driver while Saldana's classmates are honoring him and remembering a talented barber who died young.

Saldana's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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