Livingston planning commissioner dies in crash

05/25/2014 6:43 PM

05/26/2014 9:56 PM

A man killed in a motorcycle crash last week has been identified as a planning commissioner for Livingston.

Michael Silva, 35, died at the scene of the crash, on Campbell Boulevard near Hammatt Avenue, about 6 p.m. Friday, the Merced County Coroner’s Office reported.

Silva was a maintenance worker for more than a decade at the Livingston Unified School District and was appointed to the city planning commission in 2012, friends and colleagues said.

“He was really a pillar of this community. His whole family is so involved in the community, and he was a really good friend,” Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza said. “We’re all so shocked by this very tragic death.”

Silva is survived by his 2-year-old daughter and his wife, Mayra, whom he married just two months ago on March 20, according to marriage records.

Silva’s roots run deep in Livingston. His father, Tony, is the city clerk and his aunt, Maria Ribeiro, is the city treasurer. City Councilman Arturo Sicairos is Silva’s brother-in-law, the mayor and City Manager Jose Ramirez confirmed.

“The whole family is a staple of this community. They’re involved in every single thing we do as a city,” Ramirez said.

Police Chief Ruben Chavez said Silva’s family has asked for privacy “during this time of grief and tragedy.”

“Michael has always been an extremely friendly, hard-working, good family man,” Chavez said. “He was always cheerful, upbeat and and down to Earth.”

Livingston police are investigating the crash along with the California Highway Patrol.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday, authorities confirmed.

Police said Silva was riding a motorcycle east on Campbell Boulevard when, for unknown reasons, the motorcycle left the roadway and crashed.

Another man was also riding a motorcycle and crashed moments later in the same area. The second crash was separate from the crash involving Silva. The second rider, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries and sought his own medical treatment later, police said.

“I once saw Michael walk clear across the street to pick up some trash that someone just left in the road just because that was the kind of guy he was,” Ramirez said. “He was always trying to help everyone.”

The mayor called Silva’s death a terrible tragedy for everybody in the community.

“He loved to help the children at the schools, he loved to help his father after work every day,” Espinoza said. “He was just a young man, his daughter is so young. It’s just extremely painful for all of us right now.”

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