KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- After losing his 8-year-old daughter, Jasmine Rodriquez, in a car crash Wednesday, April 9, Jose Rodriguez spoke candidly to FOX 4 News.
"Jasmine liked everything," he said. "She liked riding her bicycle around our neighborhood. She liked taking pictures, and every time I'd come home from work she'd greet me at the door and say, 'Hi, papa.'"
Jose said Jasmine was with her mother, Jaqueline, who speaks little English, last Wednesday, along with the couple's six-year-old son, Bryan, and their nine-year-old daughter, Lupita. They had left church and were heading home. Within moments, police say 27-year-old Tyrone Murphy Jr. broadsided the family's minivan near the intersection of North 63rd and Leavenworth Road in Kansas City, Kan.
"I got inside my truck and go to the accident," Rodriguez said. "I'm thinking to myself, 'Where is Bryan? Where is Lupe? Where is my wife?' I was worried about my family."
The frantic father rushed to the crash scene and learned Jasmine, whom he called his angel, died. She was a second grader at Welborn Elementary School in KCK.
Jasmine's mom constantly cried when FOX 4 was at their home. Jose held on to his wife during our interview.
"It's just so hard for all of us," he said. "I miss my daughter. I wish it never happened."
"Yes, it's very hard for me," Jaqueline said. "I got so many questions. I want to know why my child?"
Police said at the time of the wreck Tyrone Murphy was fleeing officers. A spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol said police were not in close pursuit of Murphy when the two vehicles collided.
Murphy is charged with first-degree murder, possession of cocaine, eluding a police officer and three counts of aggravated battery.
The Rodriguezes held a funeral for Jasmine on Monday. As they grieve, they also send many thanks to friends, neighbors and strangers who are comforting and praying for them.
"We want to thank everybody who's helped us, prayed for us and given donations to help with Jasmine's funeral. God bless you all, " Jose Rodriguez said.