UBS co-workers share memories
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Friday was an emotional day for employees at United Blood Services in West El Paso. They are dealing with the loss of their co-worker, Jesse Valdez, 29, who died in a motorcycle crash Thursday morning.
Valdez's co-workers shed tears, and shared laughter as they exchanged heartwarming stories about Valdez.
"He was a beautiful son, beautiful brother, uncle, father and he was good as hell at what he did," said one man as he fought back tears.
Martin Gomez was Jesse's supervisor and also one of his best friends. He said Jesse had just picked up a plaque for two blood drive coordinators Thursday morning and was on his way to work when the accident happened.
"Everybody was devastated, in shock, disbelief, nobody believed that this was happening," said Gomez.
Martin said what is most devastating is that Jesse left behind an eight-month-old son, Jesse Harley Valdez Jr.
"Somehow I think that having little Jesse, Jesse's son, is giving them some comfort," said Gomez.
Little Jesse Jr. may see his father left a legacy. Jesse not only had an impact with co-workers, but the entire community through his work at local blood drives.
On Facebook, hundreds of people offered their condolences.
Javier Aguilar posted, "I meet him when United Blood went to EPCC Valle Verde he was a really cool guy, always smiling."
Jojoyo Kolamaplock said, "One of the most awesome people you would have ever met. He's the whole reason I started donating."
(To leave a Facebook comment, go to www.facebook.com/newschannel9ElPaso .)
David Veloz, Donor Recruitment Director at United Blood Services had worked with Jesse for more than 11 years and said Jesse was a very unique person.
"He was outgoing, very warm, very sincere. He would greet you with a hug me a kiss, just a very genuine person. Very, very likable," he said, and added, "He loved life he just motivated himself, he motivated other people, simply by being an example of how we should live life."
United Blood Services has dedicated the upcoming I-10 College Coalition Blood Drive in honor of Jesse Valdez. It will be held Monday, September 9 - Friday, September 13.
UTEP 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
NMSU 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
UBS also started an account at GECU to help Jesse's family with funeral expenses. The account number is: 327571.