Elba man killed on Thruway remembered as loving family man, pastor

Edward "Eto" Torres was killed when a tractor trailer stopped suddenly to avoid a crash on the Thruway eastbound between exits 49 and 50. (Photo: Torres family)

Elba, N.Y. (WHAM) - Family and friends are remembering a loving family man from Elba who was killed Tuesday afternoon in a crash on the Thruway near Buffalo.

Edward "Eto" Torres was killed when a tractor trailer stopped suddenly to avoid a crash on the Thruway eastbound between exits 49 and 50. 64-year-old Torres was driving behind the rig but was unable to stop and slammed into the back of the tractor trailer.

Torres was a pastor and also drove a tractor trailer himself, but was not driving one at the time of the crash.

"He would always find the tambourine," said Edward Brown Jr, senior pastor of the New Covenant Chapel in Elba. "He was a tambourine player. He was always good. He always had it right on time."

Brown told 13WHAM that Torres became apart of the church 15 years to help out the growing Hispanic population in Genesee County.

His family members said he was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Buffalo when he was one of ten children. He graduated from Riverside High School and remained in western New York, living in Elba.

A statement from the Torres family was issued Wednesday afternoon about Edward's death:

Ed was a full time tractor trailer truck driver, part time plumber and a Pastor. Father of 3 grown children and 2 grand children but he was like a father/uncle/pappa to everyone that knew him.
Ed was a hard working man that loved fiercely. His ability to maintain close relationships with friends and family that distance and time could not separate was incredible. He loved his family, he loved Jesus, he loved well.
He was on his way to work after the holiday and had stopped to see his family before his shift. His work was off the 90 and because of white out conditions lost his life in the accident.
As far as our official feelings on the roads not being closed is this:
Ed was a man full of grace, he didn’t rush to judgment but would be the first person to sacrifice something for the betterment of those around him. He wouldn’t point fingers or place blame. He wasn’t that kind of person and he didn’t raise his family to be that way. An accident is an accident, no man or government is perfect and it’s easy to say what we could have or should have but in the end we believe that nothing is without purpose, nothing is left to chance. Weather is unpredictable and it changes from minute to minute, that’s what living in WNY is like and we all understand those are the eventual risks we take living here. However, we know that’s not how Ed was and that’s not how he’ll be remembered. He wasn’t unpredictable, he was inconsistent, he was honorable, he was good, he was patient and above all things he was loving.