Family members talk about accident that leaves 14-year-old fight - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Family members talk about accident that leaves 14-year-old fighting for his life

School faculty and peers were devastated at the news of Tyler's accident. (Photo source: WLOX News) School faculty and peers were devastated at the news of Tyler's accident. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Family members say they hope the accident will be a lesson to other teens on decision making. (Photo source: WLOX News) Family members say they hope the accident will be a lesson to other teens on decision making. (Photo source: WLOX News)
VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) -

Tire markings lead to the accident site that Andrew Martinez and his wife Tiphany pass by during their daily commute.

"Even expected it's bad but something like this, you're nowhere prepared for it," said Andrew. "All you can do is cry. That's about it."

After responding to a reported explosion on Jim Ramsey Road around 1:30 a.m. Monday, police say 14-year-old Tyler Rodriguez took his mother’s 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer without permission and crashed into a tree.

When deputies arrived to the scene, the vehicle had already burst into flames.

"I just want to pick him up and put him in his mama's arms. I want him to talk to us, and I want him to pull through," says Tiphany.

When the news of the accident reached his middle school, Tyler's peers and teachers were devastated.

"First, I honestly didn't believe it because it was shocking news," Vancleave Middle School student Brittany Turner said. "After we saw him, I just had to walk out because I couldn't stand there crying."

In the midst of sadness, family members and friends are sticking together by Tyler's side, waiting for him to pull through.

"Our teachers are praying together, our campus ministry team and students are meeting and praying for him and our guidance counselor is available for any students who are struggling and worried about Tyler right now," Principal Rhett Ladner said.

Meanwhile, Andrew Martinez hopes Tyler's story will save another good kid from making a bad decision.

"And for the children that thinks it's okay to make bad decisions, better think twice because not only jail time, you can die," Andrew said.

Tyler is the middle of eight of children. His mother is single and needs help with his medical bills and hotel fees. To make a donation, visit https://www.gofundme.com/yj6q69s8

Tyler's aunts Tiphany Martinez and Belinda Simpson are managing the campaign, and can be reached at 228- 861-4718 or 228-239-3960.

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