ANDREWS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – “He loved to go out cruising. That was his thing, his car club, that was his main thing. So, I mean, he died doing what he loved.”
“You just can’t beat someone that’s like that.”
The family of 23-year-old Juan Rodriguez Jr. is speaking out after he was killed in a car crash Sunday night in Ector County.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said, Juan was driving on US 385 in, Ector County when he was hit and killed by an oncoming car that troopers said was driving on the wrong side of the road. He was killed at the scene.
His family said they are in ruins from their loss and want to tell everyone to look at each day as if it could be your last.
Juan’s fraternal twin brother, Adam, is at a loss, without his brother.
“He just overall is a good person and very sad that he won’t be here any more,” he said.
Family said they didn’t believe the news at first, and said even now, they honestly still don’t believe he is gone.
Adam continued, “I thought my mom was joking when she told me. Then it set in and I just screamed. People say, you feel a part of yourself, go away, or fall. I knew something was wrong. I didn’t want to admit it. I knew something was wrong and something was very wrong.”
Juan’s brother-in-law, Jorge Galindo said the emotions are still too raw, “It feels like a dream, honestly. It feels like a dream, because first of all, we haven’t actually seen him yet. And it feels like we’re just waiting for him to walk through that door and say, ‘hey, it was a joke’ or something.”
Family emphasized, at the young age of 23, Juan had so much ahead of him, and he barely had the chance to live his life.
“He’s 23 years old. He was barely maturing. I mean, maturing age is pretty much, 28 years old. He wasn’t, he’s barely started. He had too much. He had dreams. He had dreams to have kids, have his wife, have a family,” cried Jorge. “He was growing up to be a real man, he was growing up to be strong and wise. He was barely started like, it’s not fair. It’s not fair.”
DPS said an investigation is underway for the driver who hit Juan; 37-year-old Aaron Guerrero, of Brownwood. Intoxication manslaughter charges are pending.
Jorge emphasized he hopes people use this story to remember to never get behind the wheel if you are under the influence.
“Every driver should understand like there’s people out there. It ain’t just about you. It’s other people,” he urged. “It’s important for other drivers to take that responsibility because like her, she was waiting. People at home are waiting for their kids to come back.”
Adam said that the impact that Juan left has been astonishing, and surprising to the family.
“It’s very overwhelming in the fact of we knew he knew a lot of people, but at the same time, we didn’t know the extent of how many people he knew or how many people he touched. He was always that person no matter what, if you called him, he would be there, or if you were in trouble, he would be there,” he said.
Adam continued that this tragic death has made them realize how important each day really is.
“Just love your loved ones and make sure they appreciate you and that you make sure you make it known that you love them. Because the next day is not promised. The next day we don’t know if one of us will be gone,” he said.
Lastly, the family continued to tell Juan how much he is loved and will be missed.
“That we’re just going to miss him. Imma miss him just walking in through that door like. That. We love you, man,” cried Jorge.
Now the family has started a GoFundMe page that in less than 24 hours has already reached their goal of 10 thousand dollars. The current page can be found at this link. If another is made, we will update the story.
If you would like to pay your respects, the family is holding a funeral this Saturday, February 25th, at 10 o’clock in the morning at the La Nueva Jerusalem Church in Andrews.
You can find more information on this website.