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Bringing home TJ: A Cape Coral family asking for help after losing their loved one in a car accident

Timothy Rucker
Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 17:45:27-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Timothy Rucker, a recent graduate from Island Coast High School (ICHS) in Cape Coral was on his way to college when a car accident in Georgia took his life and sent his stepmother to the hospital.

“He was headed to college this was the plan. They were driving him with all his belongings, his bowling balls getting him set up for college, and it was just incredible. We just still cannot believe this..a young man with so much future ahead of him,” said Timothy's grandpa, Kenny Hernandez.

Timothy Rucker, or as his friends and family, including grandpa Kenny calls him, TJ, seemed to always know his lane in life.

From his success on the bowling team at ICHS in Cape Coral to receiving an athletic scholarship to bowl at Central Methodist University, it seemed all his pins were lining up.

“He had a great smile. The community loved him. He worked at the cape coral bowling alley. He was very much liked there, basically very well-loved,” said grandpa Kenny.

On his way to college that is located in Missouri, TJ along with his father and step-mother were involved in a car accident on I-75 in Georgia, killing TJ and sending his step-mom to the hospital.

“Complete disbelief, utter shock, just total devastation,” said grandpa Kenny when asked about receiving the horrible news.

Now a family that is in mourning is asking for help.

A Go-Fund-Me page titled, Travel and Funeral Expenses has been set up to help bring TJ whose body is being kept in Georgia, back home to Cape Coral, along with setting up his funeral at the Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery.

For Tj's family, it’s about embracing the loved ones they still have,

“I know that they are hurting, and they had to witness that they were all three in the car together. So we just want to hug them and love them,” said grandpa Kenny, but most importantly, it's about laying TJ to rest.

The kid whose grandpa says hasd the best smile.