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Feb 10, 2013 11:34 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Family of Nogales firefighter killed asks for organ donation

TUCSON - The family of a Nogales firefighter killed in a hit-and-run is asking people to sign up for organ donation.

Sterling Lytle died while off-duty back in July.

About 25 families went to an event to honor their lost organ donors Sunday afternoon. They made patches and pinned them to quilts that will hang in different places around the state.

Sarah Lytle Barcelo is Sterling Lytle's mom. She had a friend make a patch out of one of her son's shirts.

"I know he would have wanted to save lives," she said. "Our first responders save lives. There's no reason why the general public can't do the same thing with their organs."

Lonya Epstein's husband received a heart from a donor. She drove from Phoenix to volunteer for the event.

"It's overwhelming," she said, "that there are so many people that are that generous to strangers that they don't know."

Jesus Zepeda made a plea deal in the death of Sterling Lytle. He will be sentenced Monday morning in Superior Court.

"It's never going to be long enough," Barcelo said. "My son's never going to come back. Zepeda will walk out of prison some day, and Sterling will still be in his grave."

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