Judging from the visitors to his house, those posting notes of condolences online and donating to a fund to help his family, those who knew Rito Melero Jr. are learning just how many lives he touched.
Melero, 46, of Saugus, was killed last weekend while working on his car, and many were shocked by the news.
“It’s been a difficult time for the family,” said Melero’s nephew Joshua Arguellez. “The amount of love and support we’ve received has been incredible.
“There’s been a constant line of people visiting,” Arguellez said. “The house has not been empty.
“It’s nice to see how many lives my uncle touched,” he said.
One of the things Melero enjoyed was working on cars.
“He was really good at it,” Arguellez said. “He was always so safe.”
And, that’s one of the reasons why the deceased man’s family is having such a hard time dealing with the news of his death.
“I don’t understand how it could have happened,” Arguellez said.
The 46-year-old Saugus man was killed Saturday after the car on which he was working dropped on him.
Melero was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Kelli Blanchard, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, said Monday.
The official cause and manner of the man’s death is still to be determined, she said. An autopsy has been scheduled.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies responded Saturday to a report of a Saugus man whom they suspect was run over by his own vehicle on the 27000 block of Taryn Drive, directly across from James Foster Elementary and Pamplico Park.
“A (46-year-old) man was working on his vehicle, when it dropped on him,” said Lt. Leo Bauer. “I guess he was doing repairs on his truck, and it fell off the jacks.”
“It’s a tragic situation,” Bauer added.
After the incident, Arguellez set up a fundraising page on GoFundMe.com.
“It’s nice to see how many people responded,” he said.
Arguellez wrote of his uncle: “It comes with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a beloved husband, father, brother, and son, Rito Melero.
“Rito loved sports, working on his trucks and most of all his family. Rito leaves behind his wife Christina and his three children Brianna, Branndi and Tiger. The Melero family mourns the loss and appreciates your generosity. We ask that you please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time. #teammelero.”
After four days, the fundraising site has raised at least $15,925.
Anyone wishing to contribute can visit here.