Elkhart man killed in fireworks accident remembered as kind, hardworking

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By: Danielle Waldron dwaldron@elkharttruth.com

In wake of an Elkhart man’s sudden death, friends and neighbors remember him as happy and hardworking. 

At around 9:35 a.m., Sunday, July 5, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department was called to the 54000 block of Independence Street in Elkhart for an investigation, according to previous 95.3 MNC reporting. Jose Magallanes, 44, was found dead with explosion injuries. 

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office ruled the death accidental by blunt force trauma. 

Magallanes leaves behind a wife and family, neighbor Dawn Surface told 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth.

Surface said the family moved in a little more than three years ago and she always saw Magallanes with a smile on his face and always ready to lend a hand.

The day before his death, Surface said she saw Magallanes and his young son outside, chopping wood together, as they often did. 

“If Jose was in the yard, so was (his son),” she told The Elkhart Truth. 

Former MOR/ryde employee Forrest Ludwick remembered Magallanes as always being kind and cheerful at work, according to The Elkhart Truth. 

Despite being busy, Ludwick said Magallanes was always working to provide for his family. 

After the incident Sunday morning, Surface said friends and neighbors gathered outside, placing candles near the home in remembrance. 

“I knew he was a loved man, a respected man,” she told The Elkhart Truth. “He had friends over often but to see that big of a group gather. … He will be missed. Heaven gained an angel but we sure lost.”

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron