Maria "Tess" Martinez, a former Tucson Weekly intern, died Monday, June 1, in a single-car accident in New Mexico. She was 25 years old.
Martinez was student at the University of Arizona. In addition to interning and freelancing for the Weekly, she served as an intern at the Tucson Citizen and as an apprentice at La Estrella de Tucson; as a temporary writer at the Green Valley News and Sun; and as a freelancer for publications including Inside Tucson Business.
She spent the summer of 2008 as one of 10 students in the Academy for Alternative Journalism, a joint program of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. The AAN announcement said of Tess:
At 19, Tess Martinez left her hometown of Tucson, Ariz., and headed to California, eventually settling in San Francisco. After a few years of goofing around in the Bay Area, she returned to Tucson and finished her studies in journalism at the University of Arizona. She works as a waitress at a sushi bar and enjoys tinkering with Volkswagens.
She was on her way to the Chicago area to look for work when the accident happened. Her Twitter page lists her last message—sent at 3:44 p.m., on Saturday, May 30—as: "driving to Chicago tonight."
The Weekly staff sends our sympathies to Tess' other friends, and especially her family.