By Michael Maresh
Journal Staff Writer
A Dolores woman who was killed and whose son was seriously injured in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 491 is being remembered by her family and people at her former school and her family.
Helen Joy Frazier, 21, was killed just south of Pleasant View after she made a U-turn in front of a southbound semi-truck on the afternoon of July 20.
Fraziers 7-year-old son, Jason Frazier-Farr, who attends Dolores Elementary School, was flown out by helicopter with life-threatening injuries but is expected to survive.
Frazier graduated from Southwest Open Charter School in 2009, and SWOS social studies teacher Sam Carter said she was working to improve her life.
Carter said Frazier was taking online courses for medical management and had received her certified nursing assistant license.
Her former teacher said she was working at Taco Bell in Cortez while trying to land a job in the medical field, and added she loved kayaking, camping, the outdoors and her family, especially her son.
Carter said Frazier attended Lifeway Baptist Church in Dolores.
Her grandmother, Helen Frazier said her granddaughter had a beautiful smile and an open heart who always picked herself up from her bootstraps when she was down.
She was very special because she had a young child at a young age, finished high school, got her CNA license and was working and raising a child while living on her own, her grandmother said. She was a great asset to the community.
Carter said what he remembered most about his former student was that she was a kid who always wanted extra help while in school.
She was a model student who always wanted to learn, he said, adding she was able to find a school where she could learn and at the same time be happy.
When you had Joy in class you always knew there was going to be some good energy, Carter said and added his former student taught him how to become a better teacher.
He also said Frazier enrolled at SWOS as a freshman, before becoming pregnant with her son, but added she did not let having a child stop her from graduating and used the schools day-care center it had at the time to care for her son while attending classes.
Everyone at SWOS really loved Joy. We are going to miss her, Carter said. I can visualize the last time I saw her. She was a special, sweet kid.
Tracy Archuleta, Fraziers mother, said her daughter was on her way to a weekend Boy Scout camp-out and was likely looking for a U-turn when the collision occurred.
There will be a benefit dinner, DJ dance, and silent auction for Frazier today at the Cortez Elks Lodge, 2100 N. Dolores Road. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a chili dinner, followed by dancing and a silent auction of items and activities, including dinners and a day rafting trip.