SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – After Juan Pablo Santillan was killed in a hit and run crash Sunday night, his family is asking for help to send his body home to Mexico to his mother. Santillan’s uncle Joel Ortiz said it’s the least they can do for his mom.
“Just seeing him would help all in all to heal the process.”
The Kremmling Police Department says they were called out to the Hotel Eastin early Sunday morning. They found Santillan crushed with a dent in the hotel’s wall next to his body. The arrest report said Juan Carlo Flores was eventually found off scene and admitted to accidentally driving the car into Santillan after a night of drinking.
Flores is being charged with DUI, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of a death.
Ortiz said it hurts to know his nephew’s alleged killer tried to escape justice.
“In all our eyes it is not right that it was done like that, you could argue because ‘I was scared of what would happen,'” Ortiz said. “Technically you dug yourself a bigger hole by doing that.”
While Santillan was born in Frisco, he grew up in Mexico before returning as an adult to Summit County. His uncle said he had just moved back this December and was trying to get settled in before he started sending money back to his single mother at home with his little brother and sister.
“He was like, the hope for the family,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz started an online fundraiser entitled “En memoria a Juan Pablo Santillan Casillas.” He’s hoping people will search out the fundraiser by searching the name and help him reach the goal of $8,000 to help transport the body and for funeral expenses when he gets home.
Flores is due back in court on June 7.