THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - A beloved member of the community lost his life Sunday, April 6. Carlos Estrada worked as a security guard at Nellie Coffman Middle School in Cathedral City. Estrada was riding his motorcycle Sunday when a pickup truck hit him from behind. He is survived by his family, friends and the many lives he touched throughout his years.
"You could throw him into a room with a bunch of strangers and by the time he left he would have been their best friend," said son, Manuel Estrada.
For 27 years, Estrada worked as a security guard for the Palm Springs Unified School District, where he not only made students feel safe, but made them feel special too.
"He's been the father figure to a lot of kids who had things going on in life whether they had to talk to their parents about something and they didn't know how they would all go to my dad," added his son.
Long-time friend, Ashley Gaona, can attest to that statement.
"He was that person that you could go to, not just your mom or dad," said Gaona.
A 10 year army veteran and active member of his church, Estrada decided for lent he would ride his newly purchased motorcycle to a different church each Sunday.
"He worked his entire life for a motorcycle and he finally got it and I'll tell you what he was so excited," added his son. "As soon as he got that motorcycle you could not get him off of it."
Sunday, April 8 would be Estrada's last ride. The last time Estrada would make an impact on the community that loved him so much.
"All kids need somebody to appreciate them and to show them that they're there for them and Carlos was exactly that," said Gaona when remembering Estrada.
Now the community will come together to celebrate a life that gave so much.
A car wash will be held Sunday, April 13th at Cathedral City High School from 8 am to 11 am to help cover funeral costs.
A celebration of Estrada's life is scheduled for 11 am on April 26 at Cathedral City High School. This event is open to the public--all students, friends, family and coworkers are welcome.