Vigil held for Air Force member struck, killed by semi on 21st birthday

Vigil held for Air Force member struck, killed by semi on 21st birthday
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A serviceman was struck and killed by a semi while changing a flat tire early Tuesday morning.

This happened on northbound I-75 just after the I-280 split before 3 a.m.

As a member of the Air Force and father of a young child, Sebastian Guerrero, had just returned from overseas after serving in Kuwait.

According to police, when Guerrero was tending to the vehicle, he walked into the path of an oncoming semi. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members say he was out celebrating his 21st birthday.

"You don't think it'll happen to somebody, but it does," said Guerrero's grandfather Robert.

Robert Guerrero said he was woken up at 3 a.m. with the tragic news.

Sebastian was a father to a young a father to a little boy.

"I just feel bad for his little boy," Robert Guerrero said. "[The] little boy probably wondering, 'Where's my dad? Where's my dad?' He's little, but when he was gone overseas, and he came back. He still knew who he was."

Sebastian has been a member of the 180th Fighter Wing since 2013, a decision his grandfather applauds.

"I was glad that he did, kept him out of trouble and all of that, just do what he had to do for the service," Robert Guerrero said.

The 180th released the following statement:

We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones and we will not forget the valuable contributions he made to our country or the impact he has left on this unit.

"You have a young bright individual, really at the beginning of their life," said Lt. Col. John Cupp of the 180th Fighter Wing. "And their life is taken so suddenly, the impact is just overwhelming."

Members of the 180th met with Guerrero's family Tuesday morning, to express condolences and assign a military liaison to help them through the process.

Although not family by blood, the mornings event was felt throughout the base.

"Us in the military and the 180th specifically are a close knit family, and it's a tragic loss just like it is for his family on the outside," Lt. Col. Cupp said.

Family and friends of Guerrero gathered at a vigil Tuesday night to give each other comfort.

"It's just crazy you never expect anything to happen like this, especially on his birthday," said Michael Garza, a friend of Guerrero. "It's a tragedy, it's really sad, it's devastating."

But with Sebastian now gone, his family hopes they can celebrate his legacy.

"He loved everybody, and he'd probably be hoping that everybody just moves on with their life," Robert said.

Police say the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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