Citizens of La Marque, Texas are remembering a teen hero who gave his life saving his friend from danger. Fourteen-year-old Ricky Rojas Jr. was walking with friends on Friday, March 5 when disaster struck. The teen’s selflessness and quick thinking saved his friends lives — at the tragic cost of his own.
Rojas’ family told KTRK news that the boy was walking to the store with two friends on Friday evening when they found themselves in the path of a speeding vehicle. As the group rushed to avoid the car, Rojas reportedly trailed behind his friends by one step.
According to one of the friends, Damion Escobar, Rojas managed to push him out of the way before being struck himself. Escobar, who was also hit, was able to stand after the impact. Rojas, however, remained motionless on the ground as two strangers rushed in to help.
“They checked his pulse and said it was fatal,” Escobar told KTRK. “I was panicking, trying to breathe.”
Soon after, officers from the La Marque Police Department arrived at the scene and closed the roadway to investigate. The department then confirmed Rojas’ passing in a statement later on Friday.
Authorities have not yet released the identity of the car’s driver, and the exact cause of the crash remains unknown. However, Rojas’ sister, Sage Rojas, said on a GoFundMe post that “due to the time of day, the driver couldn’t see them.”
Following Rojas’ heroic sacrifice, family and community remembers have come together to pay tribute to the teen’s memory.
“[He] has a heart of gold,” his father, Ricky Rojas, told KTRK. “He meant the world to me. I mean, that’s my only son.”
The father also remembered words that he felt his son would want him to remember.
“Don’t give up hope, and always pick love and kindness,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sage Rojas created the GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral and cremation expenses. The campaign has since raised over $11,000 — and drawn comments from those who remember the boy fondly.
“Ricky was a student of mine,” read one comment left by Rakel Hill. “He was the type of person who would do anything for his friends.”
“[Ricky] is a hero,” another comment read. “You and your family are in our prayers.”