Sergio Orozco

A Smitty’s Towing driver is being remembered for his ever-present smile and joke telling as Santa Barbara memorial plans, including a procession of tow trucks, have been announced.

Sergio Orozco, 43, who died July 31, will be remembered during a service at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church,  21 E. Sola St., in Santa Barbara.

Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 199 N. Hope Ave.

A procession of tow trucks is planned from the church to the cemetery.

Orozco was critically injured after he became trapped by the winch cable against the side of the truck on the afternoon of July 31 at the Santa Maria storage yard on West Betteravia Road.

He was flown to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and died.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident.

His coworkers at Smitty’s Towing are heartbroken at the loss, according to Smitty’s owner Greg Voigt, who added that Orozco will be sorely missed.

“He was a great family man and trusted employee,” Voigt said.

Orozco was born in Santa Barbara and attended Monroe Elementary, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High schools, his sister-in-law, Veronica Orozco said.

“He just always had a smile,” she said. “He was always joking.”

Former coworkers posted similar memories on the company’s Facebook page.

He also loved country music, his sister-in-law added.

Before going to work for Smitty’s, he worked as a long-haul truck driver.

Survivors include a son, Jesse Orozco; a daughter, Jasmine Orozco; his parents, Maria and Alfredo Orozco; brothers Alfredo Orozco and Eddie Orozco; and seven nieces and nephews. 

Voigt noted that the job of tow truck drivers is considered one of the most dangerous. 

Drivers of tow trucks spend their lives taking care of people during disastrous times after accidents or while broken down on the side of the road with kids in the vehicle, he said.

“People don’t give them that credit where credit is due,” Voigt said.

Donations to “Sergio Orozco Memorial Fund” can be made at any Montecito Bank & Trust location. A Go Fund Me donation page sanctioned by the family has been set up here, Smitty’s representatives said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Janene Scully | Noozhawk North County Editor

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com.