Victoria man killed in crash remembered as loving family man

Jan. 21, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2013 at 7:22 p.m.

In the hours after the news that Bobby Cantu had died, people who knew him were remembering the good-hearted person he was.

Andrew Farr has known Cantu through extended family for more than a decade. Cantu was his sister's brother-in-law, and Farr remembers him as a kind and giving person.

"He was a great guy, a very giving person, always cheerful around people," Phurr said. "He was the type of person that, even if you didn't know him, he made you feel like his best friend, right off the bat."

Farr said Cantu worked at INEOS and had a young son.

Cantu, 33, of Victoria, died Monday morning in a traffic crash on state Highway 185 in Calhoun County, said Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Trooper Gerald Bryant.

About 7 a.m., Cantu was driving a 2011 Chevrolet pickup east on the highway when it veered into the westbound lane and collided with a 2000 Peterbilt 18-wheeler hauling a tank trailer, said Bryant.

"Both drivers took evasive action and actually collided in the shoulder and ended up in the westbound lane. The pickup burst into flames," said Bryant. Cantu was pronounced dead at the scene by Calhoun County Justice of the Peace James Duckett.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Jason Lawson, 42, was taken by ambulance to Citizens Medical Center, where he was treated and released, Bryant said.

Heavy fog was believed to be a factor in the crash, said the trooper.

The crash happened about 11/2 miles from the INEOS plant, said Bryant.

A portion of the highway was closed for more than three hours.

DPS Trooper Ronald Johnson is investigating the wreck.

Hours after the crash, Lawson posted a comment online expressing his sorrow at being involved in the wreck that took Cantu's life.

"Bobby, I didn't know you, but we met in a very bad way. I pray for you and your family and pray that God keeps you close to him," Lawson wrote, noting that he was driving the 18-wheeler in the crash. "I will live with your family's loss for the rest of my life."

Farr learned of Cantu's death Monday morning and started to cry.

"He was a great father and a great friend. I'm going to miss him. I always will," he said.

Farr's mother, Rhonda Strauch, of Victoria, also knew Cantu for more than a decade. He was known for his kindness and his warmth, the type of person who always had a hug for someone and a nice word to say to them, she said.

"He was a major family man, someone who really loved his family," she said. "This man will be greatly missed because of his kindness and his warmth."

Additional reporting by Dianna Wray.



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