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Friends mourn good Samaritan Marine who stopped at I-5 accident scene

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 21:11:39-05

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - Friends are remembering a Camp Pendleton Marine who died after stopping to help at an accident scene last week.

“Just in shock,” said Paul Bermudez.

Eleven days later, Bermudez still can't believe his close friend and fellow military police officer, Alberto Lucio, is gone.

"I was like, pretty much every day with him. It feels like something is missing, some part of myself,” said Bermudez.

That Monday morning, just before 3:30 a.m., the 20-year-old Lucio was headed to Camp Pendleton when he stopped on southbound I-5 near Las Pulgas road to help. A crash had left a Ford Edge in a traffic lane.

The CHP says while Lucio was trying to help the driver and his passenger, a truck crashed into the Ford and Lucio, killing him. The news left his friends reeling.

“You never expect such a good person just like not to be here any more,” said Bermudez.

Bermudez tells ABC 10News he and Lucio had grown close since Lucio arrived at Camp Pendleton a year and a half ago.

“Always really cheerful, really funny. He was always doing something,” said Bermudez.

Bermudez says he and Lucio, both ‘foodies,’ would often spend their days off with their wives, exploring food.

“He loved to cook too, so every time he invited me and my wife to his house, he would always be cooking, anything related to Mexican food,” said Bermudez.

Bermudez says it's not a surprise that the friend he knew would stop to help at an accident scene.

“His family teach him the right way, to help others, without getting something back … Anything you needed he would be there for you,” said Bermudez.

Earlier this week, Bermudez and others remembered Lucio at an emotional memorial service on base.

On Saturday, a funeral will be held in his hometown of Smithville, TN.

“I would like him to be remembered as a really good friend, passionate about what he does, and just a good person,” said Bermudez.

The driver he stopped to assist was arrested on several felony charges, although the CHP hasn’t released what those are.

Lucio’s Marine friends have set up a Gofundme campaign to help his family with funeral expenses.