SAN ANTONIO – Friends and family described a late rail yard worker as a “provider” and “family man” after he died following an explosion at an Elmendorf rail park. 

  • Was cleaning crude oil
  • Had more than 60 percent of his body burned
  • Money raised goes to son's tuition

Roger Noriega was cleaning crude oil residue inside a rail car when something caused the residue to spark and ignite a flash fire. Noriega was flown to a San Antonio hospital with more than 60 percent of his body burned. He died May 13. 

READ MORE | One Killed in Rail Car Fire Near South Bexar Co.

“This last week for us has been very sad but it’s amazing in the sense that so many stories of my brother have been cheering me up,” Isabel Noriega Khan, his older sister, said.

Khan called her brother a standup guy and family man. She said he used his job at the rail yard to provide for his wife and son, also named Roger. 

“And what he lost his life doing is providing for his family,” she said. 

Friends of Noriega also said similar things during a benefit Saturday at Next Day Custom Tees off of South Presa Street. 

“He was all about his family and he was a very standup guy,” Daniela Coffey said. 

Coffey said she met Noriega when they were students in school. She said she organized the gathering in memory of her longtime friend and to raise money for his family. 

“It’s our turn to give back and help take care of his family and his legacy,” she said. 

The family also set up a Go Fund Me account for little Roger’s Catholic school tuition. Khan said her brother’s Catholic faith was very important to him and he worked to make sure his son could go to a good school. 

“That’s why we started the Go Fund Me page that way my brother’s dream keeps going and my nephew can continue at St. James go on to Central Catholic and go on to college and get a better a job. My brother’s job was so dangerous and so that’s our dream, to see a better future for my nephew,” Khan said. 

The family will bury Noriega next Saturday during a funeral service.