Family of victim in deadly wrong-way crash speaks out

Family of victim in deadly wrong-way crash speaks out

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The nieces of Jose Arenas spoke to FOX19 NOW and said the family is still grappling with his sudden death.

He died on Wednesday after police said Taryn Chin slammed her mini van into his car while driving the wrong way on I-71.

"You never expect it to happen to you," said Aris Arenas who is the victims niece. "He never did anything to even put himself in a dangerous position like that," she continued.

Arenas describes her uncle as humble, a noble man, man of faith, and in love with his best friend, his wife Sonia.

"He was always smiles and he was always happy. You could not come up to him and not see him smiling," she said.

Jose and his wife Sonia celebrated the 24th wedding anniversary just three days before he died. The couple first got together in Mexico, they have a 21-year-old son and became US citizens.

Jose Arenas was employed by Cintas for over 20 years and also worked at a restaurant inside the airport for 15 years.

The family said he loved to tell jokes and make people smile. No matter how hard you tried his niece Thania Valdivia-Arenas tells me, you didn't have much of a chance of not laughing once he got going.

"He was a big jokester and what was funny is that they weren't really jokes," Valdivia-Arenas said. "They were real life experiences of his and they were always hilarious," she continued.

Chin was released on a $300,000 dollar bond on Thursday. She faces aggravated vehicular homicide and if convicted could spend up to 8 years in prison.

Court papers show she allegedly told police she had about 4 or 5 drinks before she got behind the wheel.

The family of Arenas said they did not want to talk about her but instead focus on his life. Services for their loved one will take place next Saturday the 27th around 4 p.m.

They plan to place an obituary in Ohio and Kentucky newspapers because they feel he has touched so many lives in both states.

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