Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Illegal immigrant fled fatal wreck for fear of deportation, police say

GULFPORT — The man police say is responsible for a traffic accident that killed a Saucier couple allegedly fled the scene because he is an illegal immigrant who feared being deported.

Police say Raymundo Rojas Garcia caused Sunday's accident that killed Wayne and Michelle Hughes, who were riding a motorcycle. He fled the scene because he was an illegal immigrant facing almost certain deportation once he was captured, authorities said.

Garcia was attempting to make a left turn in front of northbound traffic on U.S. 49 when he pulled in front of Wayne Hughes' northbound Suzuki motorcycle, a witness said. Hughes tried to get out of the way but it was too late.

The couple's son, who had joined his parents for dinner at a restaurant that night, was in a vehicle behind them and saw the deadly accident.

After the collision, a witness said, Garcia took off running with his wife and 1-year-old son, only to be captured a block and a half away.

He was charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license, driving without insurance, driving with an expired tag and failure to yield. His total bond was set at $51,351.

It is not Garcia's first run-in with the law. Garcia, 27, was charged June 17 by Gulfport police with misdemeanor drunk driving and other traffic violations. He was detained overnight and later fined.

Gulfport Deputy Chief Alfred Sexton said Monday that a hold has been placed on Garcia pending confirmation of his immigration status.

However, Sexton said Garcia admitted to police he was an illegal immigrant. Sexton said Garcia likely would face criminal charges here before deportation.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said autopsy results Monday showed Wayne Hughes died of injuries to the head, chest and extremities; Michelle Hughes was thrown from the bike and died of head and neck injuries.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The Tragic, Preventable Death of Alex Tsuji, Age 2: Murdered by an Illegal Alien
By Lyn Tsuji

On November 18, 2006, our life as we knew it came suddenly and tragically to an end.
I am writing for my son Alex Tsuji, who was born on May 20, 2004 and who died on December 6, 2006. Our car was hit by a drunk driver, Maricio Salazar, if this is his true name. He had a .26 blood alcohol content, three times the legal limit. Mr. Salazar was an illegal immigrant with no insurance or driver’s license. He was drinking and driving when he ran a red light, slammed into our minivan, and put Alex, our 2 ½ year old son, on life support for 19 days. We were shopping for Thanksgiving, and we wanted to buy video games to have an all night video game marathon with the kids. Everyone was very happy that day. Alex picked out his first video game with glee. And he spoke his first complete sentence, “Open for me, mama.”
On the first day at the hospital, the doctors said Alex could not be saved. We prayed for a miracle for 19 days; and we fought to undo what Mr. Salazar had done to him. But doctors, in the US and in Japan, my husband’s native country, confirmed our son was not viable. Alex’s spinal cord was completely transected, and he had a severe brain injury. Alex was in a coma and his body could no longer regulate his breathing or any other bodily function; it was a matter of time and how much suffering, we could not know. No doctor or medical technology could be found to save him. In the end, we, his parents, had to name the date and time of Alex’s death.
We begged every day for God to make our life whole and right again.
Alex is a memory now.
We will never see or hold our son again.
Everyday we miss the sound of his laughter and the mischievous smile on his face, the pitter and patter of his feet, a bit too large for his age.
We miss his joy over a little ladybug or a fluttering butterfly.
We miss his absolute love, his trust that we would keep his little world safe.
A child’s love is given wholeheartedly.
We will never see him grow and become his own person.
We are lonely and the days are long without Alex.
Mr. Salazar has taken away a son and a brother.
On that night, the crash should have never happened. There is no justification. The laws set in place failed us. Mr. Salazar broke American laws in how he came to this country. Mr. Salazar broke American laws in operating a vehicle without a license and without insurance. He also broke American laws in driving drunk and in killing my child. His choices devastated and destroyed our family life.
It took away our security.
It destroyed us financially and emotionally.
We will suffer the loss of our son for the rest of our lives…