TEXAS - Train Hits, Kills Former Alice Official...No One Else Hurt

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Thursday, April 6, 2000

Title: Train hits, kills former Alice official

No one else hurt in accident; Guadalupe Garza also was former restaurateur

From staff reports

Staff writer Jeremy Schwartz contributed to this story.

A popular former Alice public works director was killed Wednesday when a passenger train struck his pickup south of San Diego, Channel 6 reported.

Guadalupe Garza, 66, who also once owned the Branding Iron Bar-B-Que House in Alice, was killed despite the efforts of emergency medical crews from San Diego and Benavides and a doctor riding on the Corpus Christi-bound train to revive him, police said.

None of the estimated 32 passengers aboard the train were injured in the accident, which occurred at about 10:30 a.m., officials with the Duval County Sheriff's Department said. Garza's vehicle was apparently struck broadside by the train as he crossed the tracks to bring materials to a construction site on a nearby ranch where he worked as a foreman, Deputy Sheriff Juan Perez said.

The train, operated by the Texas Mexican Railway Co., was running its regular route between Laredo and Corpus Christi, but may have been headed as far as New Orleans, officials said. Friends of Garza, who leaves behind his wife and four children, said Alice will be a different place without him. Eloy Guerra, who used to drink coffee and discuss city politics with Garza every morning at a local coffee shop, said Garza was well-liked by almost everyone in the city. "He was a very good man, a good friend," Guerra said. "It's a sad day for everybody that knew him. It's one of those tragedies that you don't expect to happen to any of us."

Jose Antonio Zaragoza, who bought the Branding Iron restaurant from Garza in December said Garza was always asking how he could help the new owner with the business. "Just last week we talked to him," he said, "and he said he wanted to help us."



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 06, 2000

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