Solo crash kills Hog Island worker

05/23/2013

Petaluma resident Abraham Jesus Avalos, who worked in West Marin, passed away on Monday in a tragic car crash in the early hours of the morning. Mr. Avalos worked at Hog Island Oyster Company for four years, quickly moving his way up from part-time retail salesman to a full-time position on the farm crew on Tomales Bay, a fitting job for a man who loved the outdoors and fishing. Erik Schlagenhauf, who directs farm operations, wrote to Hog Island staff in an email, “We lost a piece of our family.” 

Mr. Schlagenhauf told the Light in an email, “He was always smiling and joking with the crew but was also a hard worker who was ready to jump in, lend a hand, and get the job done. Abe loved his family...he talked about them often and we knew he was always looking out for them.”

His brother, Juan, wrote in a statement that Abe “was always there when I needed him,” and the two brothers, who grew up in Petaluma but went to school in West Marin, shared a love of football. He also was a volunteer with the Tomales Volunteer Fire Department.

The accident was first reported at 12:14 a.m. and Marin County Fire units arrived at the scene off Point Reyes-Petaluma Road shortly after. They found a Chevy Silverado engulfed in flames and were unable to rescue the driver from the truck. The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Division is investigating the crash in conjunction with an investigation by the state highway patrol.

Mr. Avalos is survived by his mother, Evagelina Avalos, who works at West Marin Pharmacy; his father, Juan Avalos; his brother Juan Andres Avalos; and his girlfriend of six years, Elizabeth Vega. A memorial service will be held for Mr. Avalos at the Sacred Heart Church in Olema on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family at Wells Fargo Bank, under the name Evagelina Avalos, to assist with arrangements.