Family honors Hotshot Captain Jesse Steed by restoring his truck

PHOENIX - The family of a Granite Mountain Hotshot is making sure an important project gets finished.

Nineteen of the Hotshots died in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30 of last year.

Captain Jesse Steed was one of them. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Before Jesse died, he was working to restore his 1957 GMC 4x4 pickup truck.

It was project he was doing to honor his mom.

At just 12 years old, Jesse’s mom died in a car accident. His mother had purchased the truck before she died. Her plan was to restore it with her sons but that never happened.

Since the project wasn't completed, Steed's family wanted to finish the project as a memorial to the entire crew.

Dan Tellez, works at Street Rods by Auto Art in Phoenix. He saw a post on Facebook about Jesse’s wish to get the car restored and he convinced his boss, Phill Beck to take on the project.

“I was born and raised in Arizona," said Tellez. “I’m a native and it meant a lot to me to do this.”

Over the last year, Tellez and other workers at have been painstakingly restoring this truck but not to its 1967 condition -- rather customizing it to remember the fallen 19 Hotshots.      

The bench seat is made of the exact same material the Hotshots were wearing when they died. Their names are embroidered in the middle too. Jesse's name is at the top to signify captain.

The detail continues on the outside. Mechanics put in 19 lights, instead of the traditional one. The truck will be painted in a white pearl with a red sheer glaze on top, the same colors of the Hotshot's trucks.

Tellez says the cost so far  is about $50,000.

A lot of the money has come out of the owner’s and workers’ pockets.

“The donations went downhill for the job,” said Tellez. “We got to keep revenue jobs in here but we got 3 or 4 people on the truck at all times and 3 or 4 of us on revenue jobs so we can keep paying for this.”

The plan is to have the entire project completed in time for next year's Fourth of July parade.

A fund to assist with any financial costs towards the memorial has been created at Wells Fargo Bank under "Jesse Steed Memorial Project."

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