By Bay City News Service
Employees at the Upper Valley Recycling and Disposal company near St. Helena are mourning the death of driver Gabriel Diaz-Cervantes, a father of four
Diaz-Cervantes, 44, of Calistoga, died Tuesday after he tripped and fell in front of the rear wheels of a 1984 Freightliner tractor-trailer at the facility around 3:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Diaz-Cervantes had just clocked in and was leaving the dispatch office as the tractor-trailer passed by at about 2 mph, CHP Officer Garrett Ray said.
Peter Melton, a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said investigators were at the site Tuesday and that their report on the incident will be completed within six months.
The facility is located at 1285 Whitehall Lane.
The Napa County coroner's office was scheduled to conduct an autopsy on Diaz-Cervantes today.
Company spokeswoman Christy Abreu said Diaz-Cervantes was "part of our family for the past nine years and a member of our community."
"Loved by everybody, Gabriel was an honored employee who would always share a smile and was generous to a fault," she said in a statement.
"Gabriel liked to finish off the day with one of his practical jokes that, more often than not, left the office in stitches. His warm heart and sunny disposition are already greatly missed," Abreu said.
Diaz-Cervantes' residential route included areas of Yountville, Rutherford, Angwin, St. Helena, and Calistoga. He leaves behind a wife and four children, ages 25, 13, 10, and 6.
A viewing will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Calistoga on Wednesday between 4 and 7 p.m., and a Mass is scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m.
A trust fund for the family has been established at Westamerica Bank under Gabriel Diaz-Cervantes.
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