FRISCO (CBS11) – Julia Zaman of Frisco was a wife, a mother, friend and a Sunday School teacher.
Tuesday CBS11 learned that she was also the good Samaritan that died on the Dallas North Tollway, trying to help a stranger.
“I would have been surprised if she didn’t do that,” said her husband, Nadeem—still shell-shocked at the sudden loss. Nadeem says he’d seen his wife make a U-turn when spotting a crash, just to make sure help was on the way. She died just minutes from home.
“The next exit, she would have been off the highway,” said Nadeem.
Investigators say around 10:30 p.m. Monday, Julia Zaman saw a driver lose control and crash into a concrete barrier on the DNT near the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
That vehicle came to rest in the left lane. Zaman apparently pulled over on the right shoulder. She was struck—with her cellphone in hand—when she stepped out of her vehicle.
That driver stopped and was taken to a local hospital with injuries not considered life threatening. Of the three vehicles involved in the crash, Zaman was the only fatality.
“It’s something you don’t plan for,” said Nadeem, when asked how he planned to move forward. “I don’t know.”
The couple had been married for 22 years. Although Julia taught Sunday School in her Mormon church, Nadeem says she was also immersed in his culture. They last spoke as she was leaving a friend’s boutique Monday night, where they were planning for an event.
“She always wore our clothes, and our jewelry when she would be at our events—she not only felt at home with our community, but she invited others to be a part of that community.”
That community is now embracing the family and doing all it can to soften the blow of the sudden loss. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter, Natasha, is autistic.
“Just comprehending now that her mother is no more. That’s part of the autism spectrum—comprehension… it grows with time and the next three or four days, this will become more challenging.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Friends have established a GoFundMe account to help the family with expenses.
Nadeem said his wife was the epitome of positive thinking—always looking for the good in others and the world around her. When asked what else she liked, his response: “She liked life,” and with his voice beginning to break, “she loved living.”