Jose Martinez — a hometown hero who rescued a man from a burning car — will serve as Grand Marshal of Aurora’s 2018 Fourth of July Parade.”
“Jose is truly an inspiration to everyone in our community,” said Mayor Richard Irvin. “He put his own life on the line to save the life of a total stranger. That is absolutely remarkable.”
After a car accident occurred outside of Martinez’s east side home in the early morning hours on Easter Sunday, Martinez opened his door to see the vehicle being consumed in flames. Without hesitation, Martinez ran to the car and pulled the driver to safety just as first responders arrived and captured the life-saving heroics on dash cam.
“Honestly, I just did what anyone else would have done in my position,” said Martinez. “I’ve been so shocked by the attention, but I really appreciate it. I never would have imagined any of this, especially being grand marshal of a parade I’ve enjoyed attending since I was a kid.”
A lifelong Auroran, Martinez graduated from East Aurora High School and later returned to serve as head coach of the high school’s wrestling team. In 1996, he started the Fox Valley Wrestling Club and in 1998, he began his own wrestling program, Martinez Fox Valley Elite, which has trained hundreds of championship wrestlers over the past 20 years.
“We are proud of Jose for saving the young man’s life, but the reality is he has been saving lives of our youth in Aurora for decades by giving them a foundation for a brighter future,” said one of his many nominators.
To date, the Martinez Fox Valley Elite wrestling program has produced 86 IKWF State Champions, 69 IHSA State Champions, 27 Northern Plains Freestyle and Greco Champions and 1 NCAA Champion.
“I simply want to do what is best for kids,” Martinez said.
Jose Martinez will lead Aurora’s 2018 Fourth of July Parade on Wednesday, July 4, in downtown Aurora. The parade will step off at 10 a.m. from the Santori Public Library at the corner of River and Benton Streets.
He will be honored during a public presentation at the next Aurora City Council meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place.
SOURCE: city of Aurora news release