Garbage truck passenger, Duarte, dies |

Garbage truck passenger, Duarte, dies

by Teri Vance

A group of nearly 200 mourners gathered Thursday night for a special Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Carson to grieve the death of Manuel Duarte. Duarte, 28, died Thursday from injuries suffered in a sanitation truck accident Jan. 25.

“He’s touched so many people,” said Martha Felix, Duarte’s godmother. “You can tell by how many people came.”

Duarte was a passenger in the Capital Sanitation truck that overturned on Curry Street and he was rushed to Washoe Medical Center with head injuries. His wife, Liduvina Duarte, said he worked for Capital Sanitation for about five years.

Born on June 10, 1971 in Mexico, Duarte came to the United States in 1994.

Since his arrival, he was very active in the Catholic church. Felix said he was instrumental in starting up the choir that he not only sang in, but played the guitar for.

“They’re not sure they can continue the choir without him,” Felix said. She said he was the only guitarist but was teaching some members how to play.

Speaking in Spanish, those who knew him talked of his contribution to the their lives and to the church.

“His motivation made it so that every mass was more happy,” said fellow church member, Luis Pierrott. “His happiness was contagious.”

Manuel and Liduvina were married on Nov. 9, 1997 and have a 17-month-old son, Eduardo.

“He was an excellent husband and a good father,” Lidu said. “There is none other like him.”

He was also described as a good friend.

“Manuel was not only a servant of Jesus Christ but a friend to all,” Pierrott said. “Everyone who knew him found in Manuel a true friend in whom they could confide.”

Pierrott said that Duarte would not be forgotten.

“Manuel left us, but he will stay in our hearts forever,” he said.

Funeral services have not yet been planned.