Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

Currently: 83° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Man’s role as breadwinner comes to tragic end in bus-stop crash

Image

Special to the Sun

Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr. holds an unidentified child. Ayala-Tomasino, who died when a vehicle crashed into the bus stop where he was sitting, was remembered by family for his support, compassion and love of dance.

Click to enlarge photo

Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr.

Memorial set up outside bus stop after tragedy

KSNV reports that Gary Hosey Jr. responsible for the bus stop crash that left four dead, did not have an official Las Vegas resident, Sept. 14.

Two years ago, Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr. promised his family in El Salvador that once in America, he would work to support them until he died. That support would come to a tragic end on Sept. 13 while he sat waiting for a bus to take him to his job at a local recycling company.

That's the day Gary Hosey Jr. lost control of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo and smashed into the bus stop near Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard as the workday was beginning. Four people were killed, including Ayala-Tomasino, 24.

Also killed were Margoth Gonzalez, 65, and Hyon Cooley, 47, and Johnni Garner, 49.

Ayala-Tomasino "made them a promise to take care of (his family) to the last day,” said his stepsister Jessica Amaya. “His last day was going to work, and he didn’t do anything wrong but go to work, and he just passed away like that.”

Ayala-Tomasino spent his two years in America trying to make a better life for himself, his mother, sister, niece and nephew in El Salvador, and anyone else he knew. He was learning English and working five days a week earning $7.25 per hour.

Whatever money he earned, he used to pay his lawyer, who was helping Ayala-Tomasino get his citizenship papers, and to send a portion to El Salvador to support his family. Amaya said her stepbrother refused handouts — even something as simple as a ride to and from work. He preferred the bus.

“A couple (of) times … he would tell me it was raining, it was cold and he didn’t have anyone to pick him up,” Amaya said. “I would get mad, but he didn’t want to bother anyone, he wanted to be self sufficient.”

There was another side to Ayala-Tomasino, one that makes Amaya laugh and well with tears at the same time. Ayala-Tomasino made friends everywhere he went. Amaya said he once got her tickets to see the Blue Man Group for free, just because he made friends with someone associated with the show.

Amay remembers Ayala-Tomasino always seemed to come home with something for someone. He often gave perfume to his stepmother, Elda Ayala, and once gave his stepnephew figurines from the movie "Toy Story." They're the boy's favorites.

“It didn’t matter how sad he was, he was always smiling and joking around,” Ayala said. “He worked very hard for his family and country.”

Ayala-Tomasino also loved to dance. Clubs, parties -- he danced anywhere. His stepmother, Edna Ayala, remembers meeting one of Ayala-Tomasino's co-workers in the grocery store. He asked how Ayala-Tomasino had been doing and then he said, “He’s a gooood dancer,” Ayala recalled with a laugh. Dancing was the last thing Amaya said they talked about before his death.

“We were talking on Facebook two days before, and he was just telling me how excited he was for the weekend because he was going to go dancing,” Amaya said. “He was joking around with me saying, ‘God, you had to be pregnant, now you can’t go out with me.’”

At 6:25 a.m. Thursday, police reports say, Hosey's vehicle plowed in the bus stop, killing four and injuring more. Hosey was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on four counts of felony driving under the influence causing death.

Ayala-Tomasino’s family is in disbelief. They plan to send his body back to El Salvador for his mother and family, no matter the cost.

“I can’t imagine getting a phone call telling me, 'Your brother is dead,' and I can’t see him,” Amaya said. “One stupid mistake, one selfish decision to drink and drive affected everyone else.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 2 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Unfortunate certainly. Why couldn't he make a go of it back home? The O's claim these immigrants are innovating.....so much so they should be able to build a business at home. Following the false promise by coming to America and leaving close family just doesn't make sense particularly in this economy.

  2. Why couldn't he make a go of it back home?????? Roslenda, if you were asking a serious question, please go back to school and take a basic class in social studies or world history.