GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Leo Mota was on his way home from another long day of landscaping when he called his wife as he neared their home in Garland to tell her he’d be home shortly.
Just seconds after that call, Mota’s pickup truck was flipped off the I-30 bridge by an EF-4 tornado.
His employee and family friend 19-year-old Jose Oviedo Juarez was also in truck.
Juarez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mota was rushed to the hospital but would never again regain consciousness.
Mota’s wife, Maria, said he never opened his eyes.
Friday doctors told Mota’s wife there was nothing more they could do for him. The family said their good-byes. Mota died a few hours later.
His wife, speaking through an English translator, said she wished she could talk to her husband one more time and give him one last kiss.
The father of four children often worked seven days a week year round. After years working in landscaping, three years ago Mota started his own company.
Teresa Wisdom, a family friend, said Mota worked so much so his children would have a better life.
“Leo came to this country and never ask for anything. He works for all that he has,” Wisdom said. “ He wants his children to have an educated so they don’t have to work as hard as he did. I think that’s a dream all of us have.”
The only items retrieved from his wrecked truck were his work boots, but when his wife looked through the wreckage of the truck herself, under the floor mat she found something else – his wedding ring.
She said she will forever wear it around her neck.
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