Tow truck drivers arrange caravan to honor life of longtime coworker who died from COVID

Paul Rodriguez remembered.png
Posted at 9:36 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 00:20:54-05

This is the face of Paul Rodriguez.

"We thought losing was over. But, to have him not here before the holidays, it's like an emptiness,” said Paul's niece, Miranda Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is trying to fill her mind with memories.

"We fought. We loved. He just always wanted to help everybody. Anytime I needed him, he would say okay, or I'd help you,’" added Rodriguez.

Helping people is what Paul did for eight years as a AAA tow truck driver. So, many who worked with Paul rolled through his Maryvale neighborhood to honor his life.

"It was extraordinary and something I did not expect," said Paul’s father, Julio Rodriguez.

As Paul's friends and co-workers drove by, his grieving father Julio reflected.

"I was saying this is for you Mijo. This is for you my son,” said Julio Rodriguez.

Paul's father says his son was not vaccinated when diagnosed with COVID in October. He died in November.

"He was my friend. My best friend. My buddy. My son. In losing him, I lose half of my heart and half of my life," added Julio Rodriguez.

Even Santa made a stop to help comfort Paul's four children.

As you can imagine, the glow from nearly 20 trucks let off enough joy for the Rodriguez family. But, they also took a second to acknowledge their pain.

"I just beg and beg. I ask anyone who is not vaccinated, please go and vaccinate yourself to not put your family through what we are going through," added Julio Rodriguez.

The Rodriguez family says Paul eventually decided to get the shot -- but was never well enough to take it.

"What if he would have been vaccinated? Maybe he'd still be here. Who knows? The what-ifs are what hurt the most in all of this,” added Miranda Rodriguez.

Paul Rodriguez was 38 years old. According to his family, bloodwork proved to doctors Paul was fairly healthy, though family says he did have a pre-existing condition.

The Rodriguez family has set up a GoFundMe page to help Paul Rodriguez's four children.