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By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO, Texas -- One family witnessed the scene of the car accident that killed their son early Sunday morning. His family said 28-year-old Mando Salazar was coming home from Odessa where he worked in the oil industry, when he rolled over his SUV on Interstate 10.
Socorro Police Chief Carlos Maldonado said the accident happened at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday near Clint. Maldonado said police believe Salazar could have fallen asleep at the wheel when he lost control of his SUV and flipped over.
Police also said Salazar was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Salazar's family said he made a last-minute decision to drive home overnight, and this trip would have been his last time working in Odessa.
His father, Armando Salazar, said he and his wife happened to drive by the scene of their son's accident early Sunday morning. When they realized it was their son, they started trying to pick his belongings up from the road.
"We turned back, we got closer and we noticed right away it my son," Armando Salazar said.
His family said he leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son.
"His smile was contagious. He had the same smile since he was a baby. It's never changed. He could make anyone laugh," Mando Salazar's cousin Lesley Saenz said.
Salazar's family said he previously served three tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army.
They also said they set up a fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/ejoylg to help with funeral expenses and to help his son Sebastian in the future.
Salazar is expected to be buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery at 2 p.m. Thursday.
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KFOX14 provides local news, weather coverage and traffic reports for El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, NM and nearby towns and communities in Clint, Fabens, Socorro, San Elizario, Canutillo, Vinton, Anthony, Ysleta, Horizon City, Fort Bliss, Van Horn, Fort Hancock, Tornillo, Westway, La Mesa, Mesilla, Mesquite, San Miguel, Vado, Deming, Alamogordo, White Sands, Chaparral, Berino, Chamberino, Dona Ana, Elephant Butte, Hatch, La Union, Radium Springs, Sunland Park, Santa Teresa and Truth or Consequences (Tor C).