A 31-year-old Morro Bay chef died a week after sustaining critical injuries from crashing into a car while riding his bicycle, according to the Morro Bay Police Department.
Jose de Jesus Duron Leos, a cook at the Great American Fish Company and Dockside restaurants in Morro Bay, died Aug. 29, seven days after colliding with a car at the intersection of Beach Street and Embarcadero Road on Aug. 22.
Duron leaves behind a seven months' pregnant wife and three children.
Mark Tognazzini, owner of Dockside, said that Duron worked at his restaurants as a “dedicated” employee over the past five years, earning a reputation as one of the friendliest staff members he’d ever had.
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When the crash happened, Duron was on his way to work at the Great American Fish Company, operated by Jim Leage, where he was to work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. before starting his 4-to-9 p.m. shift at Dockside.
Duron was riding his bike down a steep decline on Beach Street about 10 a.m. on Aug. 22, approaching Embarcadero, when he came to the intersection, said Morro Bay Police Cmdr. Bryan Millard.
He struck a vehicle that was in the process of turning left and was thrown from his bicycle.
“The investigation is still ongoing, but there are no criminal charges at this time,” Millard said. “The driver cooperated with police.”
Millard said he couldn’t release information on whether Duron was wearing a helmet or any additional details about the collision, citing the ongoing investigation.
Duron remained hospitalized in a coma and died a week later after being taken off life support, according to friends and co-workers.
A benefit for Duron’s family will be held at the Dockside restaurant at 1245 Embarcadero on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Participants are asked to pay $10 for a pick-up meal that includes almond-smoked chicken, beans, rice and a tortilla. All proceeds will benefit Duron’s family. For reservations, call 772-8130.
A lunch benefit will take place Monday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Great American Fish Company at 1185 Embarcadero.
That fundraiser will include a free meal; however, donations are requested. The menu includes tacos, enchiladas, rice and beans. All proceeds will go to the family.