Marine from Bridgeport killed in crash to be remembered at viewing tonight

A Bridgeport man killed in a car crash two days before Christmas is being remembered on Tuesday as "a great Marine who served his country proudly."

Frank Recchia and Robyn Karashik

Jan 2, 2024, 5:09 PM

Updated 141 days ago

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A Bridgeport man killed in a car crash two days before Christmas is being remembered on Tuesday as "a great Marine who served his country proudly."
State police say Mateo Gaviria lost control of the Toyota he was driving around 10:30 p.m. near southbound Exit 42 on Route 15 in Westport and crashed into a median. They say he got out of his car and was then struck and killed by another vehicle.
Cody Harman told News 12 he was a close friend of Gaviria’s in the Marine Corps. The two worked together as air defense controllers at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. At the time of the crash, Gaviria, 28, had been out of the military for several years.
"You know, Marines have that mentality of being stern and hard-charging. That wasn't G. He was a real laid-back guy, made everybody feel welcome in the workplace," said Harman.
Harman said his friend was known for being modest and good-natured.
"He was real smart. He was good at his job. We were air defense controllers in the Marine Corps -- kind of like an air traffic controller," said Harman.
Gaviria’s family came to the U.S. from South America while he was still a young child.
His family said he always dreamt of giving back to his country, a dream he would realize by joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
Harman says Gaviria left a proud legacy of service to his country, family, and his fellow Marines.
"He was always kind of the life of the party. Everybody always liked hanging around him.
He always brought life into the work area," said Harman.
Gaviria will be remembered between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Dennis & D'Arcy Abriola & Kelemen Funeral Home in Stratford.


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