According to some reports, Big Wave Tour competitor Oscar Moncada, Puerto Escondido surfer Diego Oropeza and Waldo Rendon, also a Puerto local, are dead after a car accident on Saturday night. While Oropeza and Rendon died at the scene, Moncada was taken to hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries. The news comes just one day after Brazilian Jean da Silva took his own life. Reports, however, vary. Imparicial stated that Rendon died on impact, Oropeza was able to escape from the vehicle and died shortly afterward, and Oscar Moncada is still in the hospital.
The accident occurred on Federal Highway 200 between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico. TeleCino reports that their car was hit by a truck and “burst into flames.” The driver of the truck was also taken to the hospital.
Both Moncada and Oropeza were well known for their performances at Puerto Escondido. Moncada recently finished in ninth place at the Puerto Escondido Challenge, but he was best known for his ability in free surfs. He was consistently on the biggest and best waves when the lineup was full of the world’s best big wave surfers, and he did it with a smile on his face.
“I can’t imagine Zicatela without these two chargers in the lineup,” wrote Shannon Quirk. “Diego and his family helped make the Puerto Escondido Challenge a success, providing housing and transportation for our competitors. He even wrote a book in University to plan towards sustainable tourism and development in Puerto to help the community. They both had such big hearts, and the surf community is mourning today. One of the last things Oscar posted on Instagram was ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ To think that after all the big and dangerous waves these guys took off on and survived… I’ll take this loss as a reminder to live life to the fullest and charge hard like they always did.”
Our sincerest condolences go out to all those affected by this tragedy.