ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The victim of a fatal hit and run is being remembered by those who knew her and her life giving to others.
A memorial was set up near the spot where Rajine Martinez was struck. NEWS10 ABC’s Anya Tucker spoke with her former high school principal who said she was a young woman who came from nothing and had so much promise. A future that will sadly never happen.
In a small town where nearly 40 percent of the kids live at the poverty line, Rajine Martinez would beat the odds.
“She was someone I would say was not blessed with many supports as many other students, but managed to find success,” Brian Bailey, Assistant Superintendent of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District, said.
Bailey, the former Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School principal, says Rajine excelled as a young artist and gifted writer who possessed a wealth empathy for others.
“More often than not, if an adult was speaking to her, she was probably bringing forth someone else’s problems, trying to make things better within the school for other students.”
Rajine took that same caring nature with her to work with the disabled at camp Wilton and as a psychology student at UAlbany. Bailey says she was forced to quit school last spring when her financial aid fell through.
On Monday, he looked back fondly on her 2013 high school graduation.
“To know that she went on and was in college and was almost done…is exciting. And now, very disappointing.”
Albany Police say the 21-year-old continued to live in Albany, but this is past Saturday morning at around 4 a.m. while walking along Washington Park Road she was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.
“To know that we lost her is very devastating.”
He points to Rajine’s exuberant smile in her 2013 yearbook photo and where she included this Billy Joel quote: “I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”
“I think her finding beauty in situations where maybe it’s not there and her willingness to help other people I think that was her first priority in life.”
Albany Police says they found the vehicle they believe was involved. No one has yet been arrested.