VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side is learning more about the deputy killed in a vehicle wreck Thursday.
It has been an emotional two days for some members of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office. Friday afternoon, four deputies spoke to WAVY News, saying Deputy Edgardo Lucero was well-liked and his death leaves a huge void.
One of his last photos was taken Wednesday: Deputy Lucero received his 15-year service pin.
A deputy shared another photo of him and Deputy Lucero. In it, you can see both smiling widely. It’s a smile that co-workers say will never be forgotten.
“Eddie was more than a co-worker, he was a friend,” Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Parker said.
“He has so many partners and co-workers that it’s a huge hole in our lives and in our department,” said Deputy Justine Gibbes. “So a lot of us still don’t think its real.”
Virginia Beach deputies are shrouding their badges to honor a man they say loved what he did — one who they considered the morale booster and someone they say often sang in the office.
“He was the office clown. He was the office leader. He really liked to make us laugh all the time,” said Deputy Gibbs.
Deputy Lucero was leaving work and was almost home early Thursday morning when the van he was driving went into the opposite lane, hitting another driver head on. Word spread quickly to the deputies who worked closest to the man they called “Eddie.” It was news they found hard to believe.
“I’m going to miss him immensely,” said Deputy Brandon Bishop. “I was devastated yesterday when I found out about it.”
Loved ones tell 10 On Your Side Deputy Lucero was a husband and father of two. He was a mason and was very active in the community.
“You never want it to be somebody that you love and that you’re close to,” Rebecca Columbia with the Virginia Beach Sherff’s Office said. “You heard that statement and the next thought is, ‘his poor family.'”
Deputy Lucero worked in the civil process area of the sheriff’s office for several years, acting as a liaison between the court and the public with 11 other deputies. He transferred to work in the jail last year.
Those who worked with Deputy Lucero are leaning on each other to get through this tough time.
“We will be strong because of the memories that we will carry in our heart with him and if I could meet another person like him,I would consider myself twice as lucky in this life,” Columbia said.
There is still no word on what caused the vehicle Deputy Lucero was in to go into the other lane. Police say neither speed nor alcohol appear to be factors in this crash.
The driver in the other vehicle involved was treated and released from the hospital.