Victoria man dies on way to father's house

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

June 21, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.

When Maria Conde Elizondo's son never arrived in Edna after leaving their home in Victoria on Friday morning, she knew something was wrong.

She'd later find out, her instincts were right.

Larry Guerrero Jr., 25, en route to his father's house about 1:45 a.m., died in a one-vehicle rollover accident near Inez.

"I couldn't get ahold of him, so I drove out there to find him, saw the police lights and recognized the car," Elizondo said, tearing up. "I ran over to his car. I didn't see his face, but I knew it was him because of his tattoo and the shorts he was wearing. I knew that was my baby."

Guerrero was driving north on U.S. Highway 59 in Elizondo's 2001 Honda when he attempted to pass a tractor-trailer and change to the inside lane, according to DPS Trooper Gerald Bryant. In doing so, Guerrero drove into the center median and overcorrected his vehicle, which then flipped several times, ejecting him from the car. He was not wearing a seatbelt. The Honda landed in a ditch near the railroad tracks near Midway Road, Bryant said.

Guerrero died at the scene about 2 a.m.

"I know in my heart the Lord was ready for him," Elizondo said. "I believe it was just his time."

Those who knew Guerrero well, called him "Jr." or "Baby Larry." And his mother often referred to him as her "miracle baby" because he almost died at birth.

Guerrero's stepfather, Leo Elizondo, who still remembers meeting his stepson for the first time as a timid 10-year-old, described his stepson as a hard-working, teddy bear of a man.

"He was an easy-going guy," Leo Elizondo said. "People thought he was a thug, but he was a big bear."

Leo Elizondo said Guerrero was the type of man who never said no to anyone in need, and was always surrounded by friends who cared for him.

"He was very well liked and very respectful," stepfather Leo Elizondo said.

Giggling, his stepfather also admitted Guerrero was something of a ladies' man.

"My son was a handsome young man and had girls from all over," he said. "... He was a player."

Leo Elizondo said after his stepson's death, his cell phone rang several times with three different women Guerrero had planned to take out on dates this week.

"His mama had to let them down," he said. "He was a young man, you know? He wasn't married and didn't have any kids."

Guerrero was a 2003 graduate of Edna High School and worked as an electrician for Turner Industries.

Memorial services were held Sunday and Monday at Artero Memorial Chapel in Victoria, officiated by the Revs. Efrain Pena and Larry Helms.

The Elizondos welcome phone calls on their son's passing. They can be reached at 361-935-4884.



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