Christian Gutierrez rarely got a day off from his job at Coby’s Auto and Wrecker Service.
To maximize their time together, his girlfriend, Maria Cahue, and her 2-year-old daughter, Andrea, would ride in the wrecker with him, Cahue said.
“That’s how we spent our time together, up until that same night,” Cahue said Saturday.
Cahue, 19, said she had just returned home from responding to a call with her 24-year-old boyfriend when he was called to another wreck near Refugio.
Gutierrez, 24, was struck and killed by a UPS tractor-trailer while loading a vehicle at that wreck.
The crash that killed Gutierrez remains under investigation by the Department of Public Safety.
The couple’s one year anniversary was Friday.
On Saturday, Cahue was in Laredo with Gutierrez’s family, preparing for his funeral.
Cahue said the family did not want to talk publicly about Gutierrez.
With nine siblings, Gutierrez was a family man, she said.
“Anything for me and my daughter. He always put us first,” Cahue said.
Over the phone, Andrea could be heard calling for her mother.
“She asks for him,” Cahue said. “She thinks he’s working.”
Gutierrez moved to Victoria almost a year ago to be with his girlfriend and her daughter, Cahue said.
That was after his service as a Marine in Iraq.
“He was a three-time combat veteran. He went overseas more than once,” Cahue said. “He liked serving his country.”
Gutierrez received several military honors, including the Marine Corp. Good Conduct Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the National Defense Service Medal and the Rifle Expert Badge, according to his obituary.
He also enlisted in the Marine Corp. Reserve.
Cahue said on a rare day off, Gutierrez would still be putting others before himself, most likely taking Andrea out to have fun.
“We love him. There was not one person that he did not touch, that did not like him,” Cahue said. “He was just very loving.”
Posted by Cyndi Kight, Associate Editor of Towing and Recovery Footnotes