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Family of Black Hills Energy worker who died receives huge outpouring of respect

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 21:18:43-05

PUEBLO — Exactly one month ago, the Rodrigues family lost a loved one in a fatal accident.

52-year old Patrick Rodrigues was working on Elizabeth Street for Black Hills Energy, when a car driving southbound on northbound lanes struck him, killing him on impact.

What happened next was more than the Rodrigues family could have imagined.

“It was one thing to hear that that was going to happen, but then to see it and just kind of see the amount of people that he had an impact on,” said Patrick's oldest son, Mitchell.

The Rodrigues family told me that Patrick touched everyone he met. "My father was probably one of the most genuine man of God I’ve ever known," said Mitch. "It was never about him, it was about the person in front of him, all the time.”

A procession with over 160 vehicles was held on December 18th in remembrance of Rodrigues. A police escort lead the parade for over two miles from St. Joseph's Catholic Church, past Rodrigues' mother's home. Three executives of Black Hills Energy flew all the way down to Pueblo from South Dakota to pay their respects and over 20 companies from places as far as Wyoming and Kansas. According to the family, Mayor Gradisar even reached out to Governor Polis to be granted an emergency variance, allowing loved ones to gather at the State Fair Grounds.

“We were just completely baffled and just taken back by the amount of support and the amount of people that showed up. I mean it was truly incredible," said Mitch.

The sign-in sheet for the memorial was six pages long.

The Rodrigues family wants to take this time to say thank you to all of the companies and businesses that extended respects for the loss of Partick Rodriguez. They also want to remind everyone that if you see anybody on the side of the road, working or not, to please be cautious.

“Drive with a little extra caution," said Mitch. "Cause if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this you’re not guaranteed tomorrow, and sometimes the most unexpected turn of events can become one you’re not going to forget.”