Kyle Nolan Silva
Kyle Nolan Silva

Kyle Nolan Silva loved cars and motorcycles. He owned several vehicles, worked on them constantly and considered a career as a mechanic or truck driver.

"I love playing basketball, playing Xbox, riding dirt bikes, racing anything with a motor," the Del Aire man wrote on his Facebook page. "If you haven't figured it out, working on cars no matter what it is!"

He recently purchased a new Honda motorcycle, took a safety course and was going about his life Jan. 9 when a suspected drunken motorist ended the 22-year-old's dreams. Jose R. Corona, 30, a Compton man with with two previous driving under the influence convictions, was allegedly drunk again when he lost control of his van and smashed into Silva in the lane next to him on the Century (105) Freeway.

Silva, who was thrown into the center divider, will be remembered today at 9 a.m. funeral services at Holy Cross Mortuary in Culver City.

"He's an unfortunate victim," California Highway Patrol Officer John Tye said. "This is as serious as it gets. We are going for murder."

Prosecutors have charged Corona with three felonies: Murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of an accident. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving when his privilege was suspected because of a prior driving under the influence conviction.

The District Attorney's Office complaint shows Corona was convicted of drunken driving in Orange County in 2003 and in Los Angeles County in 2010.

"He shouldn't be out there," Tye said. "Unfortunately, a young man paid with his life."

Silva, who worked for Olympic Security in Vernon, was on his way home from work when the crash occurred. CHP officers said Silva was legally riding his motorcycle in the westbound carpool lane approaching the Harbor (110) Freeway when Corona lost control of his van to his right, while traveling at 65 to 70 mph.

Both slid to the left. The van pinned Silva against the median, the CHP said.

Kyle Nolan Silva worked for Olympic Security in Vernon.
Kyle Nolan Silva worked for Olympic Security in Vernon.

Corona didn't stop. An off-duty sheriff's deputy followed him as he continued west. The van passed the San Diego (405) Freeway and came to a sudden stop. Corona passed out behind the wheel, Tye said.

"According to investigators, there was no doubt he was above the legal limit," Tye said.

Corona has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to return to Compton court on Feb. 28. He is held in county jail on $1 million bail.

If convicted of the charges, Corona could spend 15 years to life in prison.

Silva's death has devastated his family.

"I don't want to live," said his mother, Gloria Silva, choking back tears. "He was my angel. He meant the world to me. I don't get it. I just don't get it."

The El Segundo High School graduate's Facebook page shows photographs of him in his security uniform, photos from his assignments, enjoying time with friends and family, and proclaiming his love for his girlfriend for everyone to see. The two planned to marry.

"I love this pretty lady/girlfriend/future wife known as Tiffany Darlene Olivarez with all my heart," Silva wrote. "She is everything to me and no one will ever take her place. Always and Forever Baby!!!!"

Olivarez posted the message "Miss him so much" on Silva's page, where other friends and family members wrote messages calling him "irreplaceable" and remembering his big smile.

"Thank you for the laughs," Helen Gupte wrote. "You were a great person. No wonder our Lord felt that you deserved to be in Heaven. You are greatly missed."

Before his job with Olympic Security, Silva had worked for an EZ Lube oil changing business in Redondo Beach, Dynamic Protective Services in Westwood and UPS in Gardena.

"He was getting ready to take his nephews dirt bike riding," his mother said. "He treats them like they were his own kids."

Close friend, Robert Simms, said Silva "loved life." He considered working on cars as a career, but decided to keep his love as a hobby. He decided to pursue a truck driving career.

"He was like the greatest person in the world," Simms said. "There was nothing wrong with him."

Silva is survived by his mother and father, Glenn Silva, grandparents, great-grandparents and brother Duane Smith.

The Infamous Socal Car Club has scheduled a "Kyle Silva Cruise Night" fundraiser from 4-8 p.m. Sunday at Fatburger, 1001 W. Carson St. in Torrance. Participants can pay $15 to display their vehicles and motorcycles to help pay for funeral expenses.

"He was a very, very good kid," his mother said. Kyle bought a street bike Honda CBR250R 2012 in July 2012. "It's not fair that my son obeys all the rules and then is left to die by a drunk driver with priors."

larry.altman@dailybreeze.com

Follow Larry Altman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/larryaltman