Francesca Castro had just finished her overnight shift as a crisis center counselor in Lancaster Sunday morning, when she called her boyfriend, Justin Versoza, around 7:15 a.m.
"The last thing I said to her was, 'I love you, and I'll see you soon,'" said Versoza, 29, of New Holland.
Less than 15 minutes later, Castro, 28, of Elizabethtown, was killed in a head-on crash in East Hempfield Township.
"She really was the love of my life," Versoza said.
Michelle Landis, 39, of East Hempfield Township, was driving a Subaru south in the 1300 block of McGovernville Road (Route 741), when she crossed into the northbound lane and struck Castro’s Mazda 3 head-on, township police Lt. Tammy Marsh said.
Castro died from multiple traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Michelle Darlington, Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said.
Crews took more than an hour to free Landis from her “seriously-collapsed” car, the lieutenant said.
She was taken to Lancaster General Hospital with severe injuries and was stable and alert Monday.
Landis is in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.
Investigators have not determined what caused Landis to go into the oncoming lane, but they don’t suspect foul play, Marsh said.
Road conditions were not a factor, and there was little traffic on the straight stretch of road.
Police don’t know if anyone witnessed the wreck, the lieutenant said. They ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Anthony Lombardo at 898-3103.
A 2005 graduate of Conestoga Valley High School, Castro last month earned her master's degree in social work from Temple University, after taking classes at Franklin & Marshall College, Versoza said.
She worked full-time for The Lodge Life Services in Lancaster as a counselor who helped people transition from homelessness to stable living.
On weekends, she worked the overnight shift for a crisis intervention center run by Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, taking calls from people in a variety of situations seeking help, Versoza said.
"Francesca was one of the most honest and blunt people you'll ever meet, but she was also one of the most helpful people I knew," he said.
Castro's dream, Versoza said, was to work for the FBI's psychology department.
Castro and Versoza had been dating the past five years, ever since they met while working together at the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store in Tanger Outlet Center.
"She had the most beautiful smile," Versoza said.
Castro is survived by her parents, Arlene and Francisco Castro of Lancaster, Versoza said.
She is the 26th person killed in county traffic accidents in 2015, according to police and newspaper records. Seventeen died in wrecks here before June 2 last year.