WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Seven months after being hit by a car while broken down on Interstate 65 in Williamson County, Darinel Ruiz-Castillo died on Thursday. Now, his family is begging the community for help to get his body back home to Mexico.
“What’s happening is very difficult to me, it’s very difficult to have to move my brother to Mexico,” Darinel’s brother, Jorge Ruiz-Castillo, said in Spanish.
Jorge is not only facing the heartache of losing his brother, but also the struggle of trying to bring him home to their parents in Mexico.
“Now we need to get him back home, since his mom couldn’t be here,” family friend Tina Mota told News 2 on Thursday, Oct. 19. “We think it was his will and his wish to be at home with is mom and dad. He wants to be buried whole in his country, and that’s what we’re working for today.”
During the early morning hours on March 19, Darinel was reportedly on his way to work when his car broke down. The Franklin Police Department said he stopped in a southbound travel lane on I-65.
According to Jorge, while his brother was in front of the vehicle, trying to get to safety, another driver rear-ended his car, which hit Darinel, leaving him fighting for his life as a quadriplegic.
When News 2 spoke with Jorge a few weeks after the crash, he said Darinel was on life support and had been at Vanderbilt University Medical Center since undergoing several surgeries while paralyzed from his chest down.
“He was home for two weeks. We were going to dance one day together, you know, and now this,” Mota recalled while crying. “It’s not fair. He didn’t do anything to deserve this other than to try to go to work to provide for his family.”
Darinel and Jorge made their way to the United States, hoping for better lives. However, that dream has been shattered.
“Now he’s going back to it with nothing, with nothing, because this has drained all of the funds that they could have possibly saved from Mexico and from here,” Mota said of Jorge.
The incident also caused a financial domino effect for the family, who is now mourning Darinel’s death.
“Its been really difficult to watch for the last seven months…somebody that was ready to fight for his life to what he became before the Lord took him away,” Mota explained. “It’s terrible, it’s terrible.”
A GoFundMe account has been created to help bring Darinel’s body back to Mexico