'His light was so bright': Family of Clarksville teen who drowned prepares to say final goodbyes (2022)

Gladys Bautista

Reporter

'His light was so bright': Family of Clarksville teen who drowned prepares to say final goodbyes

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NOVEMBER. THE FAMILY OF A CLARKSVILLE TEEN WHO DROWNED EARLIER THIS WEEK IN SPENCER COUNTY IS STILL IN SHOCK AS THEY PREPARE TO LAY HIM TO REST TOMORROW. AN 18 YEAR OLD WENT UNDER AT A LAKE IN SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA, ON MONDAY AND DIED WEDNESDAY. OUR GLADNESS FOR THESE TWO SPOKE TO HIS FAMILY TODAY. SHE JOINS US LIVE NOW FROM THE NEWSROOM. GLADYS, ARE THEY. HOW ARE THEY HOLDING UP? WELL, VICKI, RICK, THIS FAMILY IS DISTRAUGHT OVER WHAT HAPPENED IS REALLY ANYONE CAN IMAGINE WINSTON RODRIGUEZ RUIZ, VASQUEZ’S MOTHER, AVA, TELLS ME THEY CAME TO THIS COUNTRY FROM VENEZUELA ONLY A YEAR AGO. SO THIS WAS COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED. BUT SHE SAYS HER FAITH IS GETTING HER THROUGH THIS ORDEAL. THE FAMILY ONLY SPEAKS SPANISH. WE TRANSLATED THIS INTERVIEW FOR YOU. IT HASN’T YET BEEN ONE WEEK SINCE EVA VASQUEZ LOST HER OLDEST SON, WINSTON RODRIGO RUIZ VASQUEZ. BUT SHE TELLS ME IN HER NATIVE LANGUAGE, SPANISH, SHE’S GETTING COMFORT IN KNOWING SAMUEL, YOUR FAMILY. HE DIED HAPPY. HAPPY TO HAVE SPENT TIME WITH THE PEOPLE HE LOVES. HE WAS WITH THE PEOPLE HE LOVES. HIS BROTHER, AUNTS, UNCLES AND COUSINS. AT CHRISTMAS LIKE VILLAGE AND SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA, OVER THE WEEKEND. ON MONDAY AFTERNOON, THE FAMILY HEADED DOWN TO A RECREATION CENTER BEACH. WHO IS? VASQUEZ WENT IN FIRST SWIM. BUT AFTER A FEW MINUTES, HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, RODRIGO, SAYS HE NOTICED HIM STRUGGLING IN THE WATER BEFORE HE WENT UNDER. THOSE WHO YOUR CAPACITY WHEN IT HAPPENED, I TRIED TO SWIM IN AND TAKE HIM OUT, BUT I COULDN’T. I SWAM TO WHERE HE WAS AND I TURNED AROUND BECAUSE I GOT TIRED. I TRIED TO SWIM, BUT I GOT TIRED SO FAST. I WENT BACK TO THE SHORE. SANTA CLAUS POLICE SAY LUIS VASQUEZ WAS NEARLY TEN FEET UNDERWATER FOR AT LEAST 7 MINUTES BEFORE FIRST RESPONDERS GOT HIM OUT. THEY PERFORMED CPR ON HIM IN RESPONSE, ROTATED HIM BEFORE HE WAS TAKEN TO JASPER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. HIS MOTHER, EVA, SAYS SHE GOT THE CALL FROM HER FATHER, MARIO WINTER, TO WATCH. HE TOLD ME WINSTON HAD AN ACCIDENT, BUT HE’S OKAY. AND I SAID TO MYSELF AS A MOTHER, I SAID, HE’S NOT OKAY. SOMETHING TOLD ME THAT HE WASN’T OKAY. RUIZ VASQUEZ WAS LATER FLOWN TO UVALDE HOSPITAL IN CRITICAL CONDITION. THAT’S WHERE THIS MOTHER SAYS HER OLDEST SON, WHO SHE DESCRIBES AS LOVING, CARING AND KIND TO EVERYONE, DIED ON WEDNESDAY. HE HAD A LOT OF LIFE. THAT WAS SOMETHING EVERYONE SAW. AND BECAUSE OF THAT, HE WAS NOT OF THIS WORLD. HEAVENLY FATHER CALLED HIM EARLY, BUT HIS BROTHER SAYS EVEN WITH RUIZ VASQUEZ NOT BEING HERE PHYSICALLY, THEY WILL CONTINUE TO BE AS INSEPARABLE AS THEY WERE IN LIFE FOREVER. WE’RE NOT A PART OF ME WITH HIM. I FEEL A PART OF ME IS WITH HIM AND A PART OF HIM IS WITH ME. AND I FEEL WITH THAT IS HOW I’LL KEEP GOING. HE LEAVES BEHIND HIS MOTHER, HIS AND TWO YOUNGER BROTHERS. NOW, RUIZ, VASQUEZ, HIS FUNERAL SERVICE IS SET FOR TOMORROW. THE FAMILY HAS SET UP A GO FUND ME TO HELP WIT

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'His light was so bright': Family of Clarksville teen who drowned prepares to say final goodbyes

Gladys Bautista

Reporter

(Video) Obsessed Much

The family of a Clarksville teen who drowned in a Spencer County lake said Thursday they are preparing to lay him to rest. Winston Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez, 18, arrived to the United States from Venezuela one year ago and just graduated from Clarksville High School. Speaking to WLKY in her native language of Spanish, Eva Vasquez described her oldest son as loving, caring and kind to everyone. "He died happy. Happy to have spent time with the people he loves," Vasquez said. He was with the people he loves - his brother, uncles, aunts and cousins — when he spent the past weekend in Santa Claus, Indiana, at Christmas Lake Village. On Monday afternoon, the family headed to the recreation center beach where Ruiz- Vasquez went in for a swim. That's when his younger brother Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said he saw his brother struggling in the water before he went under. "When it happened, I tried to swim in and take him out but I couldn't," Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said. "I swam to where he was and I turned around because I got tired. I tried to swim but I got tired so fast I went back to the shore."Santa Claus police said Ruiz Vasquez was nearly 10 feet underwater for at least seven minutes before first responders pulled him out. They performed CPR on him before he was transported to Jasper Memorial Hospital. His mother described the call she got from her father. "He told me Winston had an accident but he's OK," Vasquez said through tears. "And I said to myself, as a mother... I said he's not OK. Something told me that he wasn't OK." Ruiz Vasquez was later flown to UofL Hospital in critical condition. He died Wednesday. "He had a lot of light," Vasquez said. "That was something everyone saw and because of that, he was not of this world. The heavenly father called him early.His brother said even with Ruiz Vasquez not here physically, they will continue to be as inseparable as they were in life forever. "Part of me went with him," Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said. "I feel a part of me is with him and part of him is with me and I feel with that is how I'll keep going."Ruiz Vasquez's funeral service is set for tomorrow. The family has set up a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses.

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. —

The family of a Clarksville teen who drowned in a Spencer County lake said Thursday they are preparing to lay him to rest.

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Winston Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez, 18, arrived to the United States from Venezuela one year ago and just graduated from Clarksville High School.

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Speaking to WLKY in her native language of Spanish, Eva Vasquez described her oldest son as loving, caring and kind to everyone.

"He died happy. Happy to have spent time with the people he loves," Vasquez said.

He was with the people he loves - his brother, uncles, aunts and cousins — when he spent the past weekend in Santa Claus, Indiana, at Christmas Lake Village.

On Monday afternoon, the family headed to the recreation center beach where Ruiz- Vasquez went in for a swim.

That's when his younger brother Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said he saw his brother struggling in the water before he went under.

"When it happened, I tried to swim in and take him out but I couldn't," Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said. "I swam to where he was and I turned around because I got tired. I tried to swim but I got tired so fast I went back to the shore."

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Santa Claus police said Ruiz Vasquez was nearly 10 feet underwater for at least seven minutes before first responders pulled him out. They performed CPR on him before he was transported to Jasper Memorial Hospital.

His mother described the call she got from her father.

"He told me Winston had an accident but he's OK," Vasquez said through tears. "And I said to myself, as a mother... I said he's not OK. Something told me that he wasn't OK."

Ruiz Vasquez was later flown to UofL Hospital in critical condition. He died Wednesday.

"He had a lot of light," Vasquez said. "That was something everyone saw and because of that, he was not of this world. The heavenly father called him early.

His brother said even with Ruiz Vasquez not here physically, they will continue to be as inseparable as they were in life forever.

"Part of me went with him," Rodrigo Ruiz Vasquez said. "I feel a part of me is with him and part of him is with me and I feel with that is how I'll keep going."

Ruiz Vasquez's funeral service is set for tomorrow.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses.

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