Harlingen man remembered after dying while saving a friend's life

Mark Vasquez // File Photo

A former Harlingen Cardinal lost his life over the weekend after trying to save his friend TMs life.

Harlingen Cardinal head coach Manny Gomez remembers his former teammate Mark Vasquez after he drowned over the weekend.

While spending the weekend at Lake Lewisville just north of Dallas, the 41-year old Harlingen native lost his life in an attempt to rescue his friend who had capsized in a canoe shortly after midnight Saturday.

"I know Mark didn't want to be labeled a hero, he just wanted to go out there and do what was right," Gomez said. "He always wanted to do what was right."

Gomez tells Action 4, the canoe tipped over about 100 yards from the shore. Vasquez jumped in the water and swam about 30 yards before he disappeared in the moon lit water.

Leaving behind a wife and daughter, Vasquez will be sorely missed.

"A lot of people loved the guy because of the way he handled himself, Gomez said. He didn't curse a whole bunch, he was always cracking jokes."

His story is something Gomez will be sharing with his team for the rest of the season.

"He had an opportunity to help somebody and he did," Gomez said. "That's the thing Cardinal Football has taught us, any opportunity available to help someone, help your teammate. We will do it with a lot of pride, and that TMs the example of Mark."

The funeral will be held at the Turrentine Jackson Morrow Funeral Home at 2525 Central Expressway in Allen, Texas at 4 pm on Friday.

Family and friends in Harlingen plan to hold a memorial at a later date.

Vasquez and his family were living in Little Elm, Texas at the time of this death.