A Duplin County family loses three family members and has two others are seriously injured in a car accident while on vacation in Mexico. The two survivors are brother and sister. The family is now struggling financially to bring home one of the survivors from Mexico, who needs a private jet for the return home, because of spinal injuries.
The fatal accident happened last Wednesday in Zacatecas, which is about 12 hours south of the Mexico-U.S. border. One of the survivors, 19-year-old Cynthia Garcia, arrived home from Mexico late Tuesday night. She has cuts and bruises all over her body. She said her family can't even think about funeral arrangements for the three family members killed, until they can bring 18-year-old Rene back home.
Cynthia and Rene were on vacation in Mexico, visiting a sick aunt. They went on the trip along with their father, Raul Garcia, their grandmother, Tomasa Garcia, and their uncle, Juan “Johnny” Garcia. The five of them had been driving in heavy rain when the driver lost control, causing the truck flip several times.
Cynthia Garcia said Tomasa, Raul, and Johnny died in that crash. "It was a pretty bad accident. I don't remember anything really. From that, I just remember waking up and someone telling me, ‘it’s going to be okay’," Cynthia said.
Raul was a single parent taking care of Cynthia and Rene. Shannon Garcia, Johnny’s wife, now has to take care of five children on her own.
“I’m just trying to hold up for the kids. They really miss thier daddy," Shannon said.
Cynthia said her brother Rene is still in Mexico at a hospital. Family members said because of insurance reasons, Rene can only have surgery in North Carolina. The Duplin Early College senior has spinal fractures and is developing blisters on his back because he's been in a hospital bed for too long, according to Cynthia.
The Garcias said it costs about $260,000 for a private jet to bring Rene home, which he needs due to the extent of his injuries. The family said they’ve already incurred more than $12,000 in medical expenses.
"We’re just ready for all of us to be together so we can all begin the healing and be able to have this funeral for everybody," Shannon said.
The family also owes more $120,000 for having all three bodies brought back to the U.S. and prepared for burial.
A donation website has been set up to help the Garcia family with these expenses. Click here to visit the website.