FABENS, Texas (KTSM) — Funeral services for 24-year-old Willy Valadez, who was killed in a mud race track accident, were held on Friday in Fabens.

A photo of Valadez was hanging outside of Templo Elim, along with a graphic of boxing gloves in the corner.

The young man’s dream was to become a professional boxer, according to his cousin Mary Valadez. She says she’ll never forget his contagious smile.

“Remember him as the special person that he was he kept everybody smiling, everybody laughing, there was no dull moment with that little boy,” said Mary Valadez.

Finding it hard to keep smiling without him, Mary started to cry during the interview with KTSM 9 News, wishing she could tell her cousin that his parents will be taken care of.

“That we love him and everything’s going to be OK because I know one of the things he did is worry about his parents a lot,” said Mary Valadez.

Valadez was killed and eight others were injured following the mud race track accident that happened Sunday evening in Fabens. The mud race car went off the track into a crowd of spectators, crashing through a metal barrier.

“The worst happened — something that we never expect for our families to go through. There were a few friends there that were there to help him get out of the incident,” said Mary Valadez.

“His brother called me I was the first one on scene of a family member,” said Manuel Ochoa Willy’s cousin.

While Ochoa was Willy’s cousin, he tells KTSM 9 News that he was much more than that to him.

“He was a brother, friend, he was everything,” said Ochoa.

The family said Willy will be laid to rest on Saturday.

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