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Valley family mourns beloved dad and grandpa who died tragically

Alex Gonzales
Posted at 9:50 PM, Oct 21, 2021

PHOENIX — Mourning the loss of their rock. Alex Gonzales, a Valley landscaper, was hit and killed by an SUV while on the job.

Thursday night, a day after he died, Gonzales’ family came together to hold a candlelight vigil where he passed away.

There, they remembered their hero, who's leaving a wife, 8 children, and 25 grandchildren behind.

"It just feels like a nightmare and we're just waiting to wake up from it," Helen Rodriguez told ABC15.

Rodriguez is Gonzales’ daughter. She was barely able to hold it together when talking about her dad.

"It's going to be really hard to...come home and know that he's not going to be there anymore," added Rodriguez.

"I think he was the best dad anyone could ever ask for," said Bridget Guillen, one of Gonzales’ daughters.

Gonzales' family says he was trimming trees near Cave Creek and Dynamite when an SUV hit his work truck, which then hit him.

Gonzales' truck was parked in the median in an area with road cones around it.

"He wasn't scared of anything. So, to know that, you know, he braced for the impact of how scared he must have been...I just wish we could have been there."

Investigators believe speed may have been a factor in the crash.

The driver of the SUV was seriously hurt.

Meanwhile, Gonzales' grandchildren are left heartbroken about this unexpected loss.

"When I heard that he didn’t make it, I screamed and cried all night," said Gerardo Hortelano, one of Gonzales’ grandkids.

When asked what they will miss most about their grandpa, this is what they said:

"His jokes and cheering people on," said Ezreya Loza.

"Hugging him every day after school," added Juliette Hazen.

"Just him being there," Darian Loza told ABC15.

And now, loved ones are left holding on to cherished memories.

Memories they will share with love, to keep Gonzales' legacy alive.

Here's their message to the man they cherished most:

"Just that we love much," said Rodriguez.

"I'm sorry he had to die such a horrible death," added Ovante.

"He's never going to be forgotten," Guillen told ABC15.

"And I wish he was still alive," added Ortelano, in tears.

Gonzales would have been 60 years old next week.

His family says they will get together that day to celebrate his life.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Gonzales' family with Funeral expenses.