By José Antonio Pérez
The six victims of the fatal bus accident that occurred in the early hours of March 8th along the highway stretch between Santa Ana and Benjamin Hill received a final farewell during an emotional tribute held at the boxing ring of the Juan Francisco “el Gallo” Estrada open air gymnasium in Puerto Peñasco.
Families, friends, and the athletic community of Puerto Peñasco gathered on Tuesday afternoon for a ceremony to honor the names of the deceased: Jonathan Oroz Gómez, Víctor Martínez, Francisco Jaime Valenzuela Castro, Mario Gaxiola García, Martín Rafael Murrieta Yescas, and Eduardo Hernández Martínez. One of the most heart wrenching moments was when the names of the young athletes were announced, along with their trainer, for a “final round” in the ring.
Francisco Jaime Valenzuela Castro’s aunt, Mrs. Juanita Quintero, shared stories of his restlessness and love of boxing, and how his dreams were being fulfilled, including a victory over the weekend at the boxing competition held in Cd. Obregon. The group was returning from that competition when the accident occurred. She thanked everyone, and the municipal administration, for all the support and solidarity since they received the tragic news.
Oscar Quiñones, brother of trainer Jonathan Oros, spoke of his brother’s life and his work dedicated to boxing and children. He praised his gift with people and commitment to his athletes.
In addition to Oros’ own achievements as five-time Sonora state boxing champion, he was a trainer, soccer player, baseball player, fisherman, cooperative leader, and trained roosters for cock-fighting.
Quiñones emphasized his gratitude to all who joined in posthumously honoring the great human being that Jonathan was, who always thought of others and his “kids.”
María “La Tsunami” Veliz, who was under Oros’ tutelage, also tearfully shared an emotional message, highlighting the school of trainers he has left behind is a clear example of his presence and personal efforts.
She noted Oros had guided dozens of young athletes along the path of the sport he loved so dearly, boxing. Still, it can be said he undoubtedly was one of the most outstanding members of the Puerto Peñasco community, dedicated around the clock.
During the simple ceremony, several family members and friends spoke about the lives of those being honored, which led to sobbing as well as applause among all present. Following the ceremony, several from the community accompanied the caskets of the dearly departed to their final resting place. Rest in peace.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to help the families of each of the 6 individuals that lost their lives in the accident, and may be accessed at: Boxing Youth die in fatal bus accident