The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, revealed to NewsChannel 3 that the man in Monday's industrial accident in Goleta died after being pinned between the trailer of an 18-wheeler big rig and a loading dock.
It happened during the graveyard shift at Gold Coast Dairy off Hollister Avenue when Jose Ortiz was guiding the truck in for a delivery.
"He was a loader and he was telling the truck to stop, it was coming in crooked," said Julia Vega, Oritz's widow. "I don't think the truck saw him."
Chuck Hudson, president of Gold Coast Dairy, told NewsChannel 3 that he personally knows the driver of the truck involved and said he is one of the best. "The driver is devastated."
Hudson became emotional while talking about the tragic accident. "I've been doing this 34, 35 years and never had anything like this. Some bumps and scrapes, even myself, but never expected anything like this to happen." Hudson said he was at a loss for words to explain what things were like this week around the facility without Ortiz. He also said delivery procedures will change in the wake of the accident.
Meanwhile, back at the family's auto detail shop, Vega cradled the couple's four year old son Isaiah and cried, recalling how her high school sweetheart, nicknamed "Totoy," loved building bikes and taking the family out for rides.
She said Ortiz sent a text message hours before he died, telling her he loved her. "You always have to, like with your loved ones, treat them good and love them. You never know when they're gonna be gone. Always remind them that you love them."
Two fundraising events will be held this coming weekend to help pay for funeral costs. On Saturday from 8 a.m. until sunset, a car wash fundraiser will be held at State Street Auto Detail at 4067 State Street behind the USA gas station. On Sunday, another car wash event will be held during the same hours at the Mobil gas station at 49 Glen Annie Road in Goleta.
Greg Siggins, a spokesman with Cal/OSHA, said the investigation is expected to take up to six months. Results should be released in February or March of 2014.