Gustavo Gomez, 71, had been driving semi-trucks for nearly 21 years, per his wife. He’s lived in Dallas since the early 80s and was a father of five.
DALLAS, Texas — The family of a Dallas truck driver who died Tuesday afternoon when his tractor-trailer flew off of U.S. 75 and burst into flames is asking for anyone with video of what led up to the fiery crash to come forward.
Investigators with the Allen Police Department say 71-year-old Gustavo Gomez collided with another car on the highway before hitting the 32-inch highway barrier and crashing onto the service road below.
Dash camera video caught the big rig plummeting to the ground. The video shows its fuel tanks igniting and then landing upside down, where the 18-wheeler goes up in flames.
The other vehicle’s driver was unharmed and was seen cooperating with police by WFAA’s cameras. WFAA also captured the damage to his vehicle — the right side of his car was crushed inwards.
Gomez’s wife, Helen Torres, told WFAA Wednesday afternoon that her husband was delivering mail for the USPS to Missouri. She said that he drove for Bancroft and Sons Transportation and that the company had been contracted to make the delivery.
She also said that her husband had been driving with the company for nearly 21 years.
“He was a very hard worker,” Torres said. “He always has been for his family. Whatever it was, whether it was driving across the country or not, he always made sure we were taken care of and provided for.”
“He was such a good man. Very witty, always acting like a comedian making sure no one was sad. He was kindhearted and would help anyone who needed it. If it were in his hands and he could help at that moment, he would,” Torres added.
Torres told WFAA that she’s been with her husband since 1987, ultimately marrying in 2001.
She said that Gomez became a father to three children she had from another relationship. The couple then had two kids of their own.
Torres said Gomez moved to Dallas in the early 80s, loved cars, driving, and found that driving semi-trucks professionally was a great fit.
She also added that you don’t drive trucks for two decades without prioritizing safety.
Allen PD hasn’t said how her husband’s 18-wheeler collided with the other car or who was at fault.
Torres ultimately believes the blame for the accident should not be placed at her husband’s feet.
“He was always so careful. He always made sure his trucks were good when they were driving or before he drove,” Torres said.
“He always knew what he was driving, he knew that was a big machine and that he had to be watching out for everybody.”
Torres, along with investigators in Allen PD, is asking for anyone with dash camera video of what happened before the crash to come forward.
It may not bring back her husband, but it could bring closure and clarity to the crash investigation.
“We’re broken right now, and we’re lost. We need some understanding of what happened so we can move forward,” Torres said.
Torres has yet to see the dash camera video of her husband’s truck bursting into flames and said she doesn’t want to see it.
“I don’t want to see my husband’s death. There’s no coming back from that, and there’s no reason for me to see it,” Torres said.
She added that the man she loves is someone she’ll miss. Torres said she knew something was wrong when her husband didn’t call her while driving his route.
When she tried to call him, it would go to voicemail. Torres just figured that her husband’s phone had died.
On Wednesday morning, Allen PD notified her of her husband’s death.
“I was calling him to ask if he wanted me to make him dinner when he got back, and I didn’t get to do that,” Torres said.
“He was supposed to come home. This shouldn’t have happened.”
Torres added that Bancroft and Sons Transportation has generously offered to pay for his funeral.