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Jan 18, 2014 6:50 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Good Samaritan killed in New Year's Day homicide laid to rest

TUCSON - The man who tried to help a woman on New Year's Eve but was killed in the process was laid to rest on Saturday.

Patrick Balbastro and his girlfriend stopped to help Cindy Burnett who was being assaulted by a man in a south side neighborhood. Police say that man was Michael Leday, who then intentionally ran over all three of them. Balbastro and Burnett died of their injuries.

Leday was arrested and charged on Wednesday after he fled to Kansas City.

Balbastro's family held funeral services at St. Augustine's in downtown Tucson as a way to say their final goodbyes but also to re-live the good memories.

"My cousin had the biggest heart. He loved everybody with all of this heart," said Tina Newbury, Balbastro's cousin, speaking to a crowd inside the church.

Emotions ran high as family paused to remember the life Balbastro lived and the legacy he lives behind.

An electrician by trade, Balbastro even worked on the lights that shined down on his funeral. For family, it's the impression he made on their lives that will never fade.

"My cousin's job was to bring light into the life of everybody. It's kind of funny, right? But he did... We couldn't wait for him to come," Newbury said.

The Balbastro family is still struggling with funeral expenses and has organized a benefit on Saturday January 25th to help curb the costs.

It will take place at the Wooden Nickel at 1908 S. Country Club Rod from noon-6pm. $5 entry fee includes a large plate of authentic Mexican food, live music and raffles. Vendors are welcome with a $25 vending fee (contact: 520-445-5899)

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