A Saucier man, who died Dec. 4, left behind three children and a wife of 19 years just weeks before Christmas. Now, the family is struggling to make sense of the tragedy and figure out a way to get by.
Chendo Arroyo, 40, died when his truck fell on him and crushed his chest. He was attempting to make repairs to the truck, something he often did without incident, when the jack failed, his widow, Jamie Arroyo, said.
“I was inside cooking supper,” she said. “He was outside for no more than 10 minutes. I looked over toward the truck and saw his legs with the whole truck on top. I never heard a sound,” she said.
Jamie Arroyo said she hollered out to their oldest son, 17-year-old Wesley Arroyo, and called 911.
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Wesley rushed outside, jacked the truck back up and pulled his father out from underneath. He tried reviving him with CPR but to no avail, his mother said. Chendo Arroyo was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Chendo Arroyo, who worked in construction as a framer hanger, was the sole financial provider for the family, while Jamie Arroyo took care of the house and children.
Along with Wesley, Chendo Arroyo also left behind 15-year-old Bryson Arroyo and 13-year-old Victoria Arroyo.
Jamie Arroyo’s close friend, Natalie Bourgue, said Wesley has already started to look for work to help his family.
“He feels that now that his dad is gone, he’s the man of the house. He feels he’s responsible for the family now,” she said.
Another family friend, Dana Kluczkowski started a GoFundMe account to try and help the family with expenses. She said she did it because the Arroyo’s often helped others in need.
Kluczkowski wrote on the account: “As most of y’all know ... a family very dear to me and mine, lost their beloved husband/father due to a very tragic accident. This family helps everyone before they help themselves. They are the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met ... Instead of having holiday cheer, they’re using their funds and all for funeral costs. So, I took it upon myself to help raise money to help them throughout the holidays, so they won’t have to worry. Anything helps! Especially a simple prayer.”
Despite the loss, Jamie Arroyo said the family is grounded in the humility Chendo Arroyo taught them.
“He always brought our kids up to be grateful for what we have. But we know this Christmas will be the hardest of our lives,” she said.