A Fort Worth police officer and his wife killed in a motorcycle crash Friday loved riding so much that they named their youngest daughter Harley Ann, a family member said.
As a couple, Michael and Mary Ann Valdez’s bond was strong, on and off the bike.
“As they grew older together, they became as one,” said Isidro Ramos, Mary Ann’s oldest brother. “Just like they were on that bike, they were one.”
Michael Valdez, 44, and Mary Ann Valdez, 39, of Fort Worth, were born and raised in San Antonio, where they lived until he got a job with the Fort Worth Police Department in 2001. He had worked with the department for 14 years, beginning in the gang unit and most recently in the intelligence unit.
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“They both had very big hearts and always went above and beyond to help people out,” Ramos said.
He described Michael Valdez as an “intimidating” but loving person who could make anyone laugh.
The two were riding home at 2:17 a.m. on Michael Valdez’s Harley, something they did often, when the crash happened in the 3300 block of Trail Drive near the Fort Worth Cultural District. Ramos said they were coming home from a late dinner.
Michael Valdez was pronounced dead on scene and his wife was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where she died shortly afterward. Police had not released details on the crash by Friday afternoon.
The couple’s oldest son, Mikey Valdez, was following them home when the crash happened, Ramos said. The 911 call report said the caller kept “yelling Dad, Dad.”
Ramos said he was asleep at home in San Antonio when there was a knock at his door. He found his mom waiting, trying to tell him what had happened.
“I didn’t understand at first but once I could calm her down, I started yelling,” Ramos said.
He said he was so shocked he called the hospital in Fort Worth to confirm the deaths with a doctor.
“I had to ask twice, ‘Are you sure it was her?’ and my stomach literally fell,” Ramos said. “I felt like my soul was gone.”
The two had four children between them: Mikey, 23, Marisa, 21, Jakey, 17, and Harley Ann, 15.
Mary Ann Valdez loved to support her kids, attending sporting events and tournaments no matter where they were. She was very close to her family and was like a mom to all of her kids’ friends, too, Ramos said.
Ramos said he loved to listen to music with his sister and “acting like clowns.” He last saw her two weekends ago at a barbecue in San Antonio when she traveled there to spend time with family.
“I will miss her coming to visit and spending time with her,” Ramos said. “I will just miss her being here.”
The couple’s bodies will be taken to San Antonio for a joint service.
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