At approximately 8:40 a.m. on January 25, 1996, Border Patrol Agent Aurelio E. Valencia was involved in a vehicle accident on California State Route 78, near Glamis, California. Permanently assigned to the Blythe Station, Agent Valencia was working backup for the Highway 78 checkpoint. As he attempted a U-turn to get behind and investigate a suspected smuggling vehicle parked south of the checkpoint, his Service vehicle was struck broadside by a southbound motorist. Agent Valencia died at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.
Agent Valencia began his career with the Border Patrol as a student aide at Tucson Sector Headquarters. He was promoted to Clerk two months later. After a short break in service, he entered on duty as an Immigration Detention Officer at Wilcox Station, Tucson Sector, on November 26, 1986. On June 13, 1988, he entered on duty as a Border Patrol Agent at Blythe Station, Yuma Sector, the position he was filling at the time of his death.