Emergency service personnel from throughout the lakeside region gathered Monday, April 11 for a heartfelt, full-color tribute to colleague Jorge Chavez Rameño who perished in a highway accident the previous Saturday night.
Chavez, age 30, and his friend Ismael Zepeda Perales, 33, were killed instantly when the car in which they were riding skidded out of control into the path of an oncoming vehicle traveling on the Libramiento bypass at around 11 p.m.
The driver, a volunteer Chapala fireman whose name has been withheld by request of the district attorney’s office, has been held legally responsible for the collision, although loose gravel on the roadway is being considered as a possible agravating factor. He and the other driver escaped with only moderate injuries, although both vehicles were totally wrecked.
Ironically, the fatal crash occurred directly in front of the Chapala Civil Protection Fire Department (PCyB) base.
A former paramedic at the Chapala Red Cross, Chavez was employed as a shift commander for the PCyB in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos at the time of his death.
Dozens of firefighters and emergency medical technicians from Ixtlahuacán, Chapala, Jocotepec and elsewhere in the state participated in honors for their fallen comrade, relaying his coffin aboard fire trucks and ambulances, sirens blaring, from the family home in west Ajijic to the series of customary posthumous roll call ceremonies held at the different places where he worked. Afterwards the cortege proceeded to the funeral service at Chapala’s San Francisco church and the Ajijic cemetery where he was finally laid to rest.