Sailor struck, killed heading to work at Norfolk 'loved serving his country'
The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot
Natalie stood behind the front door, her small palms pressed to the glass.
After she was allowed outside, the 3-year-old played with a pair of neon yellow sunglasses while family friends stood nearby and asked her questions.
“Up in the sky.”
What’s he doing up there?
“Playing around with God.”
Did he love you very, very much?
Natalie’s father, Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Montes, was on his way to work at Norfolk Naval Station on Tuesday morning when his car stalled in a northbound lane on Holland Road near Independence Boulevard.
As he stood outside his car dressed in a military uniform, a northbound school bus struck him and his car, police said. Montes was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police continue to investigate but do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. It happened just before sunrise, and there are conflicting reports on whether Montes’ car had hazard lights flashing, according to police.
Friends gathered at his house Wednesday to remember the 27-year-old from Queens, N.Y.
In addition to Natalie, he left behind a wife of four years and a son, born three months ago.
“He was a man of God. He was very involved in his church, and he loved his family more than anything,” Carrie Price, a family friend, said.
Montes was involved in a community group at Grace Bible Church, where he had been a member for a few years with his wife, Nicole.
“He lived a life that wasn’t all about himself. His family is still blessed and surrounded by the love he gave them,” said Eric Sanzone, a teaching pastor at the church.
Montes came to Hampton Roads in 2005 after enlisting in the military.
He was a boatswain’s mate, and since May 2012, he was with Submarine Squadron 6, according to a Navy spokesman. For two years prior, he was part of Beachmaster Unit Two in Virginia Beach.
“He loved serving his country,” Sanzone said.
On his wife’s Facebook page, she described him as selfless and full of kindness.
At the house, two adults watched Natalie as she examined dark clouds overhead. A few seconds passed before her attention went back to the sunglasses.
Did he play with you after work?