Newly ordained priest dies in car accident on way to celebrate first Mass

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Father Victor Martinez, who was ordained a Salesian priest on July 28 in the Dominican Republic, died the following day in a car accident while on his way to celebrate his first Mass.

While traveling to Puerto Plata, the driver of the car in which the priest was riding lost control of the vehicle, which tumbled down a cliff. His aunt and uncle, Petra Jimenez and Manuel Jerez, also died in the accident.

Their daughters, 27-year-old Anny Patricia Jerez, and 22-year-old Veronica Nunez Acero of Mexico, were injured in the crash and are recovering at a local hospital.

Bishop Julio Cesar Corniel of Puerto Plata, who ordained Father Martinez, celebrated a requiem Mass later that evening. The 29-year-old priest was laid to rest yesterday.

Fr. Martinez was ordained on July 28 at the parish of Mary Help of Christians in Jarabacoa.

Father Victor Pichardo, the Salesian inspector in the region, delivered the news of the accident with great sorrow the young people “of all the Salesian houses who were at the closing Mass of the Don Bosco Joyful Summer Camps,” and “who were witnesses the day before to his priestly ordination and greeted him and received the blessing of the newly ordained priest on Sunday morning.”

Fr. Martinez was born on Sept. 17, 1982, in the city of Puerto Plata. He entered the Salesian order in 2000 and spent his last four years at the theological seminary of Guadalajara, Mexico. 

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