Family Aims to Fulfill Fallbrook Crash Victim's Final Wish

A 71-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run collision earlier this month in Fallbrook and now, his family members are trying to fulfill his wish of being buried in Mexico.

Jose Cardenas Villarreal needed to go the Social Security offices on May 15 and was on his way to get on a bus when he was struck by a car. 

Security camera video from a nearby business shows a person walking slowly near E. Mission Road and N. Vine Street at the top of the frame. Moments after the crash, a late 1990s or early 2000s white Suburban or Yukon can be seen driving away.

The California Highway Patrol said evidence appears to show the victim’s body was trapped under the car and was dragged for nearly a block.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is investigating the collision as a hit-and-run crash.

Cardenas was a healthy, energetic man who worked picking avocado, lemon or other crops. He had no wife or children, according to his nephew. 

"It makes me very sad that he has left that way," Primitivo Cardenas said in Spanish.

His uncle lived part of the time in Fallbrook and part of the time in Tijuana. The little money his uncle received from his retirement he used to pay his apartment rent and also saved to visit his family in Mexico, Primitivo Cardenas said. 

Now, family members are trying to raise money through an online fundraising account to get his uncle's remains to a small town called Totatiche, Jalisco. 

"We need funds to be able to move the body to Tijuana, and if possible to the town, it is very difficult for me, but I hope it can be done," he said.

It's important to note that families facing a similar issue should also contact the Mexico Consulate in San Diego and ask if there is financial help available.

Contact Us