HEBRON – For Juan Castillo, the few days after a fatal crash in Hebron have given him little time to grieve as he takes care of two daughters who lost their mother.
“I have to stay strong for them, so our day is rolling like any other day,” Castillo said. “They cry out for their mom, but they don’t understand.”
Falynn Hironimus, 29, of Hebron and Jose Rodriguez, 42, of Marengo were pronounced dead at the scene of a car collision about 4:20 p.m. Sunday in the 7400 block of Route 47 in Hebron, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said.
Autopsies completed Tuesday showed that Rodriguez died from blunt force trauma to the chest and Hironimus died from blunt force trauma to the head, neck, chest and abdomen, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said.
For the Rodriguez family, the past two days have been busy filled with trying to make funeral arrangements while still in the hospital, friend Antonio Ramirez said.
Rodriguez’s wife and his two children, ages 9 and 12, were passengers in a vehicle that was struck Sunday. The wife and one child were taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry in critical condition and later sent to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. The other child was taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley in stable condition, police said.
All three were in stable condition Tuesday, Rogers said.
Officials would not say what caused the crash. Hironimus was driving north in a 2009 Kia Rio, and for unknown reasons, she crossed into the southbound lane and crashed into a 2005 Chevy Impala driven by Rodriguez, Rogers said.
The Northwest Herald submitted a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday seeking police reports from the incident.
Hironimus was someone who always went out of her way to help others, Castillo said. She was on her way home from cleaning her disabled father’s home at the time of the crash.
Hironimus’ two daughters – Madison, 3, and Katelynn, 1 – were the center of her world, said Castillo, her fiance, who she’d been with for five years. Castillo said she cared for the children while he was at work.
“She was a strong people person,” he said. “Hebron is a small town, but everyone around here loved her.”
Hironimus used to work at the Dollar General in Hebron, where she met the whole town, Castillo said.
“I’ve been hearing from people all over, and I knew she had a connection with people, but it was stronger than I could ever imagine,” Castillo said. “Her whole life was helping people.”
Hironimus cleaned her father’s home after he had a stroke, and she also spent time helping an older woman she met at Dollar General clean her home and take care of her horses.
“She did that just because she wanted to,” Castillo said. “That’s just the type of person she was.”
The visitation for Hironimus will be from 10 a.m. until the noon funeral service Saturday, Jan. 20, at Strang Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 410 E. Belvidere Road, Grayslake. Interment will follow the service at Ascension Catholic Cemetery, 1920 Buckley Road, Libertyville.
A GoFundMe page, gofundme.com/falynn-hironimus, was created for Hironimus, and donations will be used for funeral expenses and to help support her two children.
The community also is rallying to support the Rodriguez family of four children, including one who plays for the Marengo High School boys basketball team.
The team plans to host a fundraiser for long-term help for the family, but in the meantime, it is collecting gift cards for local restaurants, Visa gift cards and monetary donations, Marengo coach Nate Wright said.
“We want to take the burden off them from thinking about how they’ll get food for the next few weeks,” Wright said. “We want to do something long term for the family, but we are still trying to put that together once we get a better timeline on their recovery process.”
Donations can be dropped off at the main administration or athletic offices at Marengo Community High School, 110 Franks Road, Marengo.
Jose Rodriguez was the owner of A&J Auto and Accessory, a mobile automotive electronic technician business in Marengo.
Attempts to reach the Rodriguez family were unsuccessful. Additional members of the Hironimus family said they did not wish to comment.