Saturday, November 22, 2003

Fund to help get victim's body home

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WITHAMSVILLE - Friends and relatives of a Mexican immigrant killed Wednesday when he was hit by a police cruiser have created a fund to help pay to send his body back to Mexico.

Juan Pastor Tenorio Eslava, 42, died of injuries he suffered late Wednesday after he was hit by a Union Township cruiser as he crossed a dark section of Ohio Pike in this western Clermont County village.

Donations to the Juan Pastor Tenorio Eslava Memorial Fund can be made at any U.S. Bank, friend Jose Navasaid. Friends say it will cost about $10,000 to ship Eslava's body back to his family.

Speaking through a translator Friday, Eslava's nephew, Jesus Lopez, said his uncle had been in the Clermont County area for four months. He worked two jobs and was sending money to his family in Magdalena Contreras, near Mexico City.

He leaves behind his wife, Norma, and three children, ages 22, 18 and 13.

Eslava was on his way to call his family from a pay phone outside a Walgreens when he was hit.

"He was very close with his youngest son," said Lopez. "He had a lot of dreams for his (son's) future. He wanted to send money back so the boy could get a better education. He always talked with me about his son's need for an education."

In Mexico, Eslava made a living as a field worker, his nephew said.

He lived at Maple Glen apartments along Ohio Pike. He had no phone and used the pay phone across the street to call his family.

Witnesses told investigators that Eslava was in the middle of the roadway when he was hit.

The accident happened near Ohio Pike's intersection with Britton Boulevard.

The area has few streetlights, even fewer sidewalks and no crosswalks.

Union Township Police Officer Shane Thompson, 24, who was driving the cruiser, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. He was not hurt.

Contributions to the Juan Pastor Tenorio Eslava Memorial Fund can be made at any U.S. Bank location.

In addition, donations will be accepted during a 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Mass at the St. Charles Hispanic Ministry, 115 Seymour Ave., in Carthage.


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