By Jano Tantongco
A 51-year-old father of two from Huntington was killed Saturday by a box truck he was repairing, Suffolk police said.
Timoteo Apaza Ari was underneath the truck fixing the muffler when it “rolled back and struck him,” according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene in Bohemia at around 2:10 p.m.
His nephew, Jeff Apaza, said he was bringing Apaza Ari’s children, 12-year-old Andrew and 15-year-old Ashley, to see their father and show him their report cards when he got the call about the incident.
He added that Apaza Ari lost custody of his children, but was working diligently to rebuild “his life to have his kids back.”
“He was a great man. He was a devoted father and mother to both the kids because he was a single parent,” Apaza said. “He did everything he could for his kids.”
Apaza Ari immigrated to the U.S. about four years ago from Peru, Apaza said. His uncle used any spare moment he had to learn English, he added.
“He always loved to study. Even when he had a busy schedule, he always went to night school to try and learn English to show his kids that it’s possible to learn something, even though you’re older,” Apaza said.
Because Apaza Ari didn’t have many relatives here, donations are being accepted to cover funeral and burial expenses, Apaza said. Donations can be made at Fundly.com/timoteo-apaza-ari.