To his family and friends, Kevin Rocha was a cheerful, athletic guy who cared strongly for his family and for others, with hopes of becoming a corrections officer. Those hopes were cut short when a car accident took his life.
Rocha, 25, a graduate of Lodi High School, died Sunday night in a single-car crash near Los Gatos in the Bay Area.
On the night of the accident, Rocha was traveling along Highway 17 on the way back from watching the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks football game at his cousin’s apartment in San Francisco.
His white GMC sports utility vehicle was found Tuesday night, 100, feet off the highway in a ravine. The cause of the accident has not yet been reported.
His family has gathered in support of each other in the wake of his death.
As a child, Rocha was very involved in sports, even though he struggled with ADHD. He played baseball and basketball from the ages of four to 14.
“He had a lot of adversity in his life, but he always had a smile and encouragement for other kids,” said his father, Manuel Rocha.
When he was in high school, Rocha joined Lodi High’s water polo team.
He developed a passion for water polo and continued on to play for San Joaquin Delta College after graduation.
Unfortunately, he developed epilepsy between the ages of 18 and 19, which caused him to have a seizure during water polo practice.
He sank to the bottom of the pool and had to be rescued, making future water polo practice no longer a possibility.
Crossfit became his new athletic hobby.
“He didn’t have a license then, but he would get on his bike and ride to the gym every morning,” said his brother, Matt Rocha. “I offered to give him a ride before work every day, but he didn’t want to wake up that early.”
Rocha later moved to Capitola to be closer to the ocean, which he also loved.
He began work as a field technician for Bay Alarms Security Systems in Santa Clara, but was recently planning to start a career as a corrections officer.
While Rocha was involved with his athletic hobbies, he was very centered on his relationship with his family.
“Whenever Kevin comes to mind, what I think about are family, friends and loyalty — and having a good time,” said Matt. “He’s the one guy you could call and he would be there no matter what.”
Rocha was a strong presence in his family, and both his smile and laugh will be missed, they said.
The Rocha family will be honoring Kevin Rocha’s memory with a private prayer vigil today.