Sons share memories of father who died in Darlington crash

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 10:11 PM EDT
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DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A well-known businessman is being honored by his neighbors in the Darlington community.

He was one of three people who lost their lives over the weekend, after the car they were in struck a utility pole.

On Saturday morning, troopers say a 2008 dodge charger traveling on Indian Branch Road ran off the road, overturned and hit a utility pole.

Three people were killed and another was seriously hurt after the crash.

The Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee identified the victims who died on that scene as 42-year-old Canado Campos, 49-year-old Aaron Morales and 46-year-old Juan Valencia Hardee.

Hardee released additional details about the victims who were all from the area:

WMBF News spoke with the family of Juan Valencia.

The family owns Tenampa Mexican Grill in downtown Darlington.

Right now, the restaurant is temporarily closed after the death of Valencia.

His sons Omar and Luis describe Valencia as a great father who will be forever missed in a community he deeply loved.

“People always knew him being super friendly,” said son Omar Valencia. “As soon as people walked through the door he greeted them.”

Both Luis and Omar said their father was the kind of person who gave 100% to everything he did, encouraging his family to live by the same work ethic.

It’s the type of teachings that Omar and Luis say they will always cherish.

“Everything he did was always to our benefit. He always looked out for us, always wanted the best for us. Always worked so hard to make sure we had everything we needed,” Omar said.

“He was always trying to teach, always trying to show us how to do it ourselves instead of having to call somebody else,” Luis said.

“It seemed like he could do everything,” Omar said. “For those that are here keep on stopping by even if it’s just to say hello, just to keep the business going because the one thing he loved doing is serving people and cooking good food and making people feel welcome. We got to keep the family business going.”

The sons said they will update the community about when the business will be opening its doors again on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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