Valley family remembers life of victim in deadly Avondale hazmat situation

A family grieving the loss of their son and brother, after he died in a work-related accident.

"He was protective, crazy, special. He had a certain kind of light about him. He always had people around him," said 32-year-old Jose Perez's sister, Angel Perez.

Related: 2 dead after Avondale hazmat situation at a truck wash

Perez was a victim of the hazmat situation at an Avondale truck wash. The incident happened at around 1:00 p.m. on Aug. 29, near the I-10 and 99th Avenue. According to Avondale Police officials, Perez and his coworker were cleaning the inside of a tanker truck at the truck wash when one became unconscious. The other went inside the tanker truck to get him, and also became unconscious.

By the time fire crews arrived, they found the two men dead inside. An investigation into what happened is still taking place.

"There's always something that’s going to happen, or there could be something that happens, but you never think it’s going to be your family. You never think that once they leave, they're not going to come back," said Angel.

Angel said her brother worked at the truck wash for several years. He worked hard, and did everything he could to take care of his family, especially his mother.

"my brother was a very strong willed, free-spirited person. He wouldn’t want us put here sad and crying," said Angel. "We're just grateful we had him as long as we did."

On Sept. 3, family and friends came together for a car wash to raise funds for Perez's funeral, and the family will host another car wash from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 4, on the corner of 51st Avenue and Indian School Road.

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