Remembering Mary

A shrine sits at the northwest corner of 24th Street and Avenue B, where 14-year-old Mary Rodriguez was struck on the morning of Aug. 17, 2013, and later died of her injuries. Edgar Borquez, the driver who hit her, was sentenced Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, to 12 years in prison.

Speaking during the Wednesday sentencing of Edgar Borquez, who killed her 14-year-old daughter Mary Rodriguez in a hit-and-run last year, Sandy Garcia said she had read in court documents that he stated he still sees Mary in his windshield, and she knows that is not the way her daughter would want him to remember her.

Struggling through tears as she spoke, Garcia went on to say her daughter was so much more than the way he remembers her and that the family had put together a slide show of pictures of Mary so he would know what an amazing and happy person she was.

“Hopefully when you remember Mary you will remember one of these pictures, and not the girl on your windshield,” Garcia said. “Mary was an amazing little girl. She always had such a great attitude and smile. She cared about everybody.”

Earlier she told Borquez that despite the loss of her daughter, she forgives him for what he did and that she will continue praying for him in the hope that he can one day become a better person.

“I want you to know that I truly, truly don’t hate you. I forgive you with all my heart and with all that I am,” Garcia said. “I hope that gives you the peace to move on, never forgetting what you did, so you can grow from it and learn from it. Don’t let this be in vain.”

Garcia also told Borquez that he still has an opportunity to do something good with his life when he gets out of prison, such as finding a wife, having children and teaching them how precious life is and how to be a better person than he was at one point in his life.

“I will never get Mary back, ever, not in this lifetime. I hope the day the Lord calls you home you go before him with a true repented heart for what you have done, a changed heart as a good man, and that one day you will be able to meet Mary yourself and get to know her and see what an amazing person she was,” Garcia said.

Mary Rodriguez’s father, Julio Rodriguez, and her stepfather Mario Garcia also spoke during the sentencing, both telling Borquez that they had also forgiven him and hope he can change his life for the better.

Afterward, Superior Court Judge David Haws sentenced Borquez, whose parents were in attendance, to 12 years in prison with credit for 484 days he has already served. He had pleaded guilty to a count of second-degree murder last month in a plea agreement.

According to Yuma police, on Aug. 17, 2013, officers responded to 24th Street and Avenue B at 4:52 a.m. to a report of a collision involving a pedestrian. The victim, later identified as Rodriguez, was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center for treatment and then flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she died the following evening.

Following the accident, Borquez allegedly went home and woke up his parents and told them what had happened. The parents allegedly took the car to the back of their home, covered it and later removed parts of the vehicle to be taken to Mexico for repairs. This allegedly took place even after news reports of the incident.

His parents, Guadalupe Borquez, 57, and Olivia Borquez, 54, were also sentenced for their roles in the incident.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert

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