37 years old
Jersey City, NJ
Waleska Martinez was an automation specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau. She was on her way to a Census Bureau conference in San Francisco.
The Chicago Tribune reported that she did not want to go on this flight. Her mother and brother were visiting from Puerto Rico. "She felt like she was leaving her heart behind," Martinez's friend and co-worker, Maritza Padilla-Laureda. "It was very hard for her to get on that plane." But she was a hard worker -- in fact, in 1997 the Census Bureau awarded her a bronze medal for her dedication to her job.
For an Adobe PDF poster from the Department of Commerce dedicated to Ms. Martinez and that of her colleague Marion Britton, click here. For information on donating to their family funds, click here.
For the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's biography of Waleska Martinez, click here.