This week many are spending time preparing for Thanksgiving and are excited to devote time to friends and family. For one auto glass industry family tragedy struck just a few days ago, when a car accident resulted in Harry Raymond Guthmiller III’s death. Guthmiller was 34 years old and had been working in the industry at Don’s Mobile Glass in Modesto CA, for just over a year. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne Guthmiller, and his three children, Dalila Rose, 4, Jr,1 and a half, and Jasmin Daisy, 1 month, according to the family’s GofundMe page.
“Ray was a nice young man who loved his family and was easy to get along with. He was very mechanical and liked to do things right. Part of the reason we hired him was because he came so highly recommended,” Steve Mort, Don’s Mobile Glass CEO, said.
The accident happened last Saturday morning when Guthmiller was driving an ATV northbound and was hit by a driver going southbound. The southbound driver was turning left when he collided with the ATV, according to the Modesto Police Department’s spokesperson, Sharon Bear. The primary collision factor is still under investigation, according to Bear.
“When I first heard about the news I was shocked, I had just seen him the week before the accident…it’s just tragic,” Mort said.
Though Guthmiller’s death was unexpected many are stepping up to help his young family and his wife get through their sudden loss.
“I feel personally responsible to make sure his family is ok, our company has been working with the family. They set up a GofundMe page and we’re [the company] putting together a program to make sure his three little kids have clothes and what they need,” Mort said.
But why would a CEO feel personally responsible for an accident he had no part in? Mort mentioned that his company is family-owned, and that its employees are treated as an extension of the family.
“It’s one of those scenarios – Ray was a hard worker, he showed up every day, his wife also works. They’re the example of success … and it’s tragic when someone as hard working as Ray is taken from his family,” Mort said. “This can happen to anybody and I know our industry is strong and will support each other and not let this family fall [by the waste side]. The initial support is amazing, the hard part is going to be down the line, and efforts still need to happen,” Mort added.
Industry members who would like to contribute can do so on the family’s GofundMe page.