In another tragic death related to the tornado that slammed the Texas town of Garland, Ruben Porras was Facetiming his wife Petra Ruiz at the moment that she was swept up into the deadly storm.
For Christmas, Porras had gifted Petra with a special hair-styling appointment, which she used on Saturday. As she was driving home from the salon, Petra utilized the Facetime application on her phone to chat with her husband. And, as Petra drove along homeward, they discussed dinner plans for themselves and their four young children. Ruben had no idea that this simple Facetime chat would be the last time he would ever see his wife of 10 years and the mother of his children.
"All of a sudden she started screaming," Porras told CBS News. "All I said was 'Babe what's wrong?' Then the image just became black."
Petra Ruiz had been swept up by the tornado and became one of 11 people who died because of the extreme weather event. The tornado, with winds reported between 166 and 200 mph, flung her car off of an overpass. Reports say that Petra died almost instantly.
— Newser (@Newser) December 31, 2015
Her panic-stricken husband Porras used another application -- the find-a-phone app -- in order to pinpoint his wife's location. Once Petra was located, he drove to find her off of I-30. When he arrived, he found the location swarming with emergency vehicles and first responders, and, with horror, he recognized his wife's vehicle among the wreckage that lined the road.
He ran to help Petra, reaching inside the wrecked vehicle but when he found her hand, it was cold.
"I was hoping she'd still be alive in there, you know... I crawled in to try to help her and I grabbed her hand. I grabbed her hand. I said, 'Petra, wake up.' Her hand was cold."
"She wasn't responding," he added. "She had no pulse. She was gone."
For the time, Porras said he is focusing on being strong for his four children who have lost their beloved mother. Explaining their mother's death to them was difficult.
"I just said to them 'Mommy is not coming home. She was in a terrible accident and she has left us. She will be watching over us.' We all just hugged each other and cried."
According to Dallas News, the couple had planned to grow old together. And even through his grief over losing his wife in the tornado, Porras still managed to smile and laugh as he spoke of his wife Petra Ruiz.
— Bobbi Jo Toy/Users/b (@LadyToy007) January 1, 2016
Petra was, Porras said with laughter, a simple woman "with expensive taste." In addition to the stylist appointment, Porras had gifted his wife with a stocking full of expensive make-up, a Michael Kors bag, and Versace perfume. However, the grieving husband said, she didn't need all that.
"I could bring her a chocolate, and that would make her happy," he said. "But she spoiled me, and I spoiled her back."
Petra met Porras online when she was 15. He was a poor kid in East Dallas while she, he said, was a chess-playing, bossy girl, and the second-oldest child in a big family. Porras said the first time they chatted, they were up late into the night, talking about everything. For their first date, Porras had his older brother drop him off at the movie theater to see Freddy vs. Jason.
His future wife Petra, Porras said, showed up with about 20 of her relatives and friends for their first encounter.
"They were trying to scare me," Porras said. "But I stuck around."
A year later, the young couple was married.
In fact, Porras and his wife even worked together for the last three years, as paralegals at Dallas attorney Glenn Tucker's office. They ate lunch together every day.
And as Porras openly admits to spoiling her, he also says that she, in turn, spoiled him, even buying him toys like remote-control cars, things Porras had never had as a poor child growing up.
"She said, 'You know what? You don't have to worry about that now. Whatever you didn't have as a kid, you get now, plus more,'" Porras said.
He had his wife's name tattooed on his left arm. She had his name on her shoulder.
"I always told her, 'We're going to be two old people, sitting back, fishing.' She didn't much like the fishing part. But she liked the sitting out by the lake part."
"She was always happy," he added.
[Image via Shutterstock]