Imperial, CA - Friends and family are mourning the death of a border patrol agent who was killed in car crash.
26-year old agent Francisco Puga of the El Centro Sector lost his life after his vehicle rolled off the road following a crash Friday afternoon. Agent Puga was on his way to work. He was not wearing a seat belt.
KSWT News 13 spoke to the Border Patrol Union to find out more about Agent Puga and the loved ones he left behind.
The union tells us Puga was a newly wed he had just got married to his wife Hilda in December and is a native of Calexico. They say Agent Puga served with the U.S. Border Patrol for five years and when he didn't show up to work on Friday that's when the agency called his wife looking for him. Agent Amaya says, "They called the wife and said he's not at work. She then called the sisters and asked them to go look for Puga, he's not there maybe his car broke down."
Shortly after leaving their home the two sisters came across the accident scene while looking for their brother says agent Amaya. He says "We have an idea that most likely we're not going to come back that day because maybe we're going to die fighting a criminal sometimes and most of the time we don't think we're going to die because of a car accident either on duty or on our way to work."
Agent Amaya says Agent Puga was assigned to the El Centro sectors ATV unit and like his family the news of his death did not come easy to his fellow agents. He says, "Close co-workers and other border patrol agent that work with him in the same ATV unit are devastated, some of them requested sick leave to cope with the pain. Some showed up to scene crying and that is normal we are family."
Amaya says even though Puga died in his uniform he was not officially on duty. Therefore his wife will not be entitled to the extra compensation given to those who are killed in the line of duty. "There are a lot of considerations by the agency but that is their call. Now they are not helping monetarily with money and maybe he won't be entitled to extra compensation because he wasn't on duty but border patrol as a family is still helping Puga's family as much as we can" says Agent Amaya.
At this time the California Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident.
The Border Patrol Union says funeral arrangements have not been set for Agent Puga, but can be expected within the next couple days.
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