UPDATE: A glimmer of hope arrived Thursday, March 31st for the Rodriquez family, in the form of Sandy Heverly of the group Stop DUI. Heverly presented 20-year-old Janie Rodriguez with a check for $10,000 to help defray some of the $16,000 dollar cost to bury her father, Julio, this Saturday.
Read the entire story below, and listen as Janie Rodriguez speaks exclusively with KXNT’s Robert Rytina about the tragedy, and her attempts to move forward in this most desperate hour.
Family friend, Lisa Jauch, reached out to KXNT to tell of this family’s tragedy.
Julio and Alma Rodriguez were on their way home to Las Vegas from Southern California back on March 20th. The couple was returning from visiting the family’s sick grandparents, when their car was rear-ended by a drunk driver on I-15 near Barstow. Their car rolled over and was struck by another vehicle. Both were airlifted to UMC in Las Vegas. Julio died two days later, while Alma spent days on life support. Doctors have been able to take her off life support, but she remains in intensive care. The suspect was arrested and is facing felony DUI and manslaughter charges. Now, the couple’s five children are left to cope with the aftermath. Led by 20-year-old Janie Rodriquez.
The children range in age from 15 to 26, including an 18-year-old daughter with a seven-month old son. 26-year old Ceasar Rodriquez is the oldest sibbling. The oldest daughter , 20-year-old Janie Rodriguez, was forced to leave her college externship in the medical field at Everest College in Henderson in order to act as guardian and caretaker for the others. Family friend Lisa Jauch tells KXNT the children are taking turns keeping by their mother’s bedside. Jauch says doctors are making no promises but say Alma Rodriguez is progressing, and she’s lucky to be alive.
But the biggest obstacle facing the family is burying their father. Jauch says Janie was told that funeral arrangements would cost $16,000, and Julio had no life insurance. Thus, Janie and her siblings are scrambling to give Julio a proper funeral and burial. Jauch says they are foregoing items such as flowers, have selected the most inexpensive casket, and may even have to forego flyers or programs at the service. The service will be at the Palms Mortuary on N. Jones Street in Las Vegas.
To assist the family, a special account has been set up at Bank of America, under the Julio Rodriguez Family Memorial Fund. The account number is 501012435609.
KXNT’s Robert Rytina conducts an emotional interview with 20-year-old Janie Rodriguez:
Here’s an update on the story, listen below