Autopsy sheds more light on Port Arthur student’s tragic roadway death

Published 12:28 am Saturday, March 25, 2023

The autopsy report on a Memorial High School student who was found dead on a local highway in November has been released.

Nancy Lizbeth Mendoza Chavez, 19, died from multiple blunt force injuries. The manner of death is ruled accidental, Justice of the Peace Joseph Guillory II said.

Toxicology information shows Mendoza Chavez had alcohol in her system and her blood alcohol amount was .132.  The blood alcohol level for motorists is not to exceed 0.08 percent, but Mendoza Chavez was not believed to be behind the wheel of a vehicle at the time of her death.

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A person found the body of Chavez at approximately 1:15 a.m. Nov. 13 in the 1800 block of West Texas 73 near the Texas 82 interchange.

Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso said the person stayed at the scene and waited for authorities to arrive.

Chavez was a Memorial High student, a Titans soccer player and planned to attend school for nursing, according to her obituary.

Chavez and her family came to the United States when she was 9 and she attended Tyrrell, Thomas Jefferson and Memorial schools. She married at 18, and her and her husband had plans to buy a house, finish her degree at Lamar University and start a family.

When news of her death became public, Port Arthur Independent School District provided a statement saying they are grieving her loss.

“Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are centered on the family, friends and Titans who knew and loved MHS Senior Nancy Lizbeth Mendoza Chavez, who transitioned on Saturday (Nov. 13),” said Adrienne Lott, media and community specialist for PAISD.  Counselors and social workers with Communities in Schools were available for students and staff who may have needed their services.