NJ Native Who Died After Crash Was '5-Foot Woman With Giant Personality,' Daughter Says

Iris Crystal Mercado, an Allentown mother, and New Jersey native, died from injuries sustained in a car crash on Sunday, March 31, authorities said. She was 37. 

Crystal Mercado

Crystal Mercado

Photo Credit: Family photos submitted to Daily Voice

Mercado, called Crystal by friends and loved ones, was hospitalized after a wreck on Route 22 in South Whitehall on Feb. 3, state police have said. 

Her daughter Ciara Rodriguez said Mercado was "a 5-foot woman with the personality of a giant."

"My mother loved being around friends and family and just enjoying being outside," Rodriguez told Daily Voice. 

"She was great at whatever she learned and put her mind to. She lived every day to the fullest and had a fly-by-the-seat kind of mentality."

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Mercado graduated from William L. Dickinson High School and briefly attended New Jersey City University for business, her daughter said. The family moved to Pennsylvania in 2013. 

She worked as an admissions specialist at Kids Peace in Orefield and was planning on becoming a phlebotomist, Rodriguez said. 

Mercado enjoyed traveling, cooking, celebrating with loved ones, and rooting for the New York Giants, her daughter said. 

"She was the most compassionate, selfless person ever," Rodriguez said. "She even enjoyed the simple things and always loved like today could be her last day. She just enjoyed loving and was so grateful for life."

In addition to her daughter, Mercado is survived by her mother Cindy Sabater, her father Juan Mercado, her brother Juan Mercado Jr., her Shih Tzu Chewmi, and many loving relatives and friends. 

Loved ones are raising donations for her memorial payable to her uncle Hector Lopez on Zelle at 201-618-5001. Donors are asked to write "For Crystal" in the memo. 

Funeral arrangments are to be announced at a later time, Rodriguez added. 

to follow Daily Voice Saddle Brook-Elmwood Park and receive free news updates.