CHAPARRAL, N.M. - The family of a Chaparral firefighter involved in a deadly motorcycle accident Saturday night said he helped people in life and in death.
"I was always happy that he was helping," said his 9-year-old daughter, Angela.
Lorenzo Chavira, 32, was traveling west on the Anthony Gap near mile post seven when he was thrown from his bike. He wasn't wearing a helmet.
Chavira was known among his biking buddies as a slowpoke. The Dona Ana County firefighter regularly lagged behind his friends when the rode in a group, and things were no different Saturday night.
The group of bikers was trying to pass a van, police said. The van braked suddenly, as did Chavira, sending him into a skid. When family looked back, he was on the pavement. But family said he didn't die in vain.
"Giving other people a chance to continue living with his organs," said aunt Angelica Chavira.
On Nov. 3, Chavira posted a Facebook picture of his wife and high-school sweetheart, Monica, on his motorcycle, with the caption, "The loves of my life."
He also leaves behind three daughters, ages 11, 9 and 7. Monica and Angela were on their way to Angela's birthday party when they got the call.
"You can hear him yelling that my dad was hurt," Angela said. "He was saying, 'Lorenzo is hurt. He's in the Gap. He dropped his motorcycle.'"
Since the crash, Monica has worn Lorenzo's wedding ring around her neck -- her daughters made their own replicas.
"I have a lot of rings, and I just grabbed one that looked like hers, like my dad's, and I put it in a necklace," Angela said.
Chavira was pronounced brain dead at UMC on Sunday afternoon due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, family said. Shortly after, daughter Teresa, 11, posted this on her dad's Facebook account:
"I would like to thank you all for keeping my daddy in your prayers. Sadly we had to take him off life support, and now please pray for our family. My daddy is now in heaven watching over all of us."
Dozens of family members were gathered at a relative's home Monday night to mourn. Angelica said there were even more occupying the waiting area at the hospital. A funeral is scheduled for later this week.
"We're really gonna miss him," Angelica said. "He was very loved by his family, by his kids, by his wife, his parents, all of us. And his friends. And we're gonna miss him a lot."