EL PASO, Texas - El Paso's deaf community is mourning the death of a member of their tight-knit family.
Eddie Quintana died over the weekend after crashing his motorcycle into a truck. It happened in east El Paso at the intersection of Montana Avenue and Killarney Street Saturday night.
Investigators stated the the 25-year-old was weaving in and out of traffic and speeding before crashing. Police said the man driving the truck also failed to yield when turning.
Quintana was not deaf, but was born to deaf parents. He grew up surrounded by the deaf community and eventually became a sign language interpreter.
Vanessa Banuelos, who is deaf, grew up with Quintana.
"He spoke fluent in sign language. He could communicate with an individual on his own level. Different accents, different styes, he was still able to comprehend. He was very skilled with that, it was very impressive," Banuelos said.
Banuelos spoke about Quintana with a group of deaf friends who had gathered at a home to comfort each others and explain the huge hole his death has left in their community.
Ashely Berroteran also grew up with Quintana. She was also out driving Saturday night and passed right by the accident. At the time, she had no idea the motorcyclist was her friend.
"We were like right there by the accident on the side of the road. I saw Eddie's body laying across the street. A woman was trying tor resusitate him by giving him CPR. His helmet was still on," Berroteran said.
Friend Victor Gonzalez worked with Quintana at PRIDE Industries. The nonprofit corporation employs employer people with disabilities.
"We are going to miss him a lot. I can't stop thinking of him. I always think of him," Gonzalez said.
Quintana's friends remember him as a someone with a big personality who was always fun to be around. He was also known as a strong advocate for the deaf community.
"I have always loved him. I loved his hugs. I loved his smile," Veronica Ybarra said.
Victor Erives Jr. shared a special connection with Quintana. Erives Jr., like Eddie, was not deaf but was born to deaf parents. They both worked as sign language interpreters and at one time were roommates. The two had big plans and encouraged each other to reach for sky. Erives Jr. is still in shock by the loss, but grateful to those who tried to save his best friend's life.
"They let me know, and it's comforting, that he wasn't alone when he died. There were people there and they were supporting him in his last moments," Erives Jr. said.
El Paso police are still investigating the accident.