'We knew it wasn't good, the vehicle in pieces.' Family remembers couple killed in violent Corktown crash

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 20:33:50-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We've learned the names of two of the people killed in a violent New Year's Eve crash in Detroit's Cortktown.

The man and woman inside the Mercury are Rodney and Marlene Rodriguez. Rodney had just picked up his wife after her shift at MGM Grand Casino and they were on their way home to southwest Detroit when they were hit in the crash. Their car was broken into two sections.

Rudy Garcia is a son-in-law and tells 7 Action News his wife, their daughter got concerned when they didn't arrive home. She has a tracker on her mother's cell phone and they drove to 16th and Michigan to find the wreckage.

"We knew it wasn't good, the vehicle in pieces," Garcia said.

The couple just celebrated their 43rd anniversary. They have two children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

"I definitely looked up to them and respected them very highly," Garcia continued. "They just welcomed me 25 years ago into their house. They had a great marriage over the years supporting one other through thick and thin and a lot of ups and downs going through medical issues."

Garcia says police told the family the other car a Cadillac has been stolen from Lincoln Park some time ago and was being driven by joyriders at an excessive rate of speed.

Detroit Police said an 87-year-old man who was in that car was taken to a hospital but died. It is not clear how many others were in that car. Two others may have run off on foot. Only two vehicles were involved.

The Rodriguez family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover their funeral expenses.