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Victoria man killed in two-vehicle crash identified

By SARA PRIEST , Sara Sneath
July 28, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.
Updated July 29, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.

Mark Anthony Ozuna died after a Sunday night wreck at the Calhoun and Victoria county line.

Juanita Perez waited for her son to pick her up from work at H-E-B Plus! Sunday night.

When he didn't show, she started to worry.

"Then, I thought, 'No, don't think bad thoughts. He's probably just with friends. He probably just lost track of time,'" Perez said.

Her son, Mark Anthony Ozuna, was using her 2014 Nissan Versa to visit his father in Port Lavaca. After a while, Perez, 59, decided to walk home in the dark.

When she arrived home, a state trooper delivered the bad news - Ozuna died en route to Port Lavaca.

"I've cried so much I thought I would have flooded Victoria by now," Perez said Monday night.

She was running on one hour of sleep and planning his funeral.

Ozuna, 34, was eastbound on Farm-to-Market Road 1090 near the Calhoun-Victoria county line when he passed a vehicle. He stayed in the oncoming lane after passing the vehicle. A tractor-trailer driven by Warren Franklin Jennings, 40, of Seadrift, was westbound and attempted evasive measures to avoid colliding with Ozuna's Nissan, said Trooper Gerald Bryant, a Department of Public Safety spokesman.

The Nissan struck the left side of the trailer, coming to rest in the ditch on the north side of the road. The tractor-trailer veered to the right, flipping onto its driver's side and coming to rest in the opposite ditch from the Nissan.

Ozuna was pronounced dead at Citizens Medical Center at 9:35 p.m.

He was thought to have been drinking alcohol prior to the wreck, Bryant said.

Ozuna moved to Victoria about a month ago to be closer to his mother.

Although he's been a machinist for years, building devices such as flashlights out of spare parts, he started a new job about four days ago.

"He was looking forward to getting a couple of extra checks so he could get himself a car. ... He had all kinds of things he was planning," Perez said. "He took pride in what he did."

The two supported each other in stressful times.

"He was all in all a good kid, but then all moms are prejudiced when it comes to their kids. A mother's love is unconditional," she said.

Recently, Ozuna learned he was the father of a 10-year-old boy living in Alice.

It likely hurt Ozuna not being close with his son, Perez said, adding she only has a single photo of her grandson as an infant.

Before coming to Victoria, Ozuna lived for a time with his aunt, Juliana Contreras, 53, in the Fort Worth area.

Ozuna liked her cooking, especially her tacos and tostadas.

Her 20 grandchildren called him Tio Mark.

"I miss his hugs," Contreras said. "He was a big guy, and he always gave me some tight bear hugs."

Ozuna is survived by a 35-year-old sister and a 9-year-old adoptive brother.

The crash was investigated by Trooper Vern Sterry.

Texas Department of Transportation, Victoria County Sheriff's Office, Victoria Fire Department, Victoria Emergency Medical Services, Calhoun County Sheriff's Office and Calhoun County Fire Department responded to the crash.

Services are pending with Grace Funeral Home. Ozuna is expected to be buried at Resurrection Cemetery.

"He will be missed. We still love him," his mother said.

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