First responders, community honor firefighter killed in deadly I-25 crash

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Many are still grieving the loss of two first responders after they died in a crash in Santa Fe. Retired firefighter Frank Lovato was just running errands in Santa Fe last Wednesday and got caught up in a tragedy. On Sunday, his body was brought back home to Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The procession started in Albuquerque and went up I-25, where multiple agencies honored Lovato with lights and sirens. Albuquerque Fire and Rescue, APD, state police, the Las Vegas Fire Department and more were all a part of the procession. But not everyone was on the interstate, KOB 4 joined a fire crew on the Jefferson overpass as Lovato made his way home

Just after 11:30 p.m. firefighters saluted as the procession passed on its way up to Las Vegas, New Mexico– where Lovato served as a firefighter since he was just 18 years old. Lovato retired in 2006 with the title of engineer.

In a press release, his former coworkers described him as selfless, down to earth and the definition of a public servant.

“When folks like that dedicate their lives to serving the community and when they do pass away it’s unfortunate, and it’s the least we can do to be able to show our respect for the person who passed away,” said Tom Ruiz AFR spokesperson.

The Las Vegas Fire Department has decided to retire his badge number in his honor. In the meantime, Lovato’s family is staying out of the public eye and is asking for space to mourn their loss.