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22-Year-Old Man Killed in Napa County Rockslide

NAPA -- To get the words out -- seems impossible.

"It's really painful," said Mariel Reyes.

Hernan Reyes

Mariel Reyes' baby brother was ripped away from his family by a freak accident.

"You never expect a kid that young to die that way," he said.

Hernan Reyes was on his way home from working in the grape fields in Napa Tuesday evening. He took Highway 121 to Fairfield to meet his mom for dinner, but he never made it.

"He wasn't answering texts or phone calls or nothing," he said.

A rockslide swept through the two lane highway, and the 22-year-old's car was in its way. The Napa County Sheriff's Office says a huge boulder hit the driver's side door, pushing Reyes' car a hundred feet downhill.

Unstable ground made the recovery tough. First responders waited until Wednesday morning to get the car and body.

That's when Reyes' family got the worst news of their lives.

"It's destroyed us. We're trying to be strong for my mom because she's the most who is suffering," he said.

Their mom is now doing the unthinkable -- planning a funeral for her youngest son.

"He was my mom's baby," Reyes said.

And making heart wrenching phone calls.

"The worst part is to call our family in Mexico and tell them," he said.

Loved ones say Hernan Reyes was as a hardworking husband and a jokester -- constantly giving his siblings nicknames.

"La patrona -- the boss," he said.

A little laughter brightens the somber mood, but as family crowds into the Napa home, they can't help but be crushed. But they are thankful to not go through this alone.

"Really happy to have friends and family that support us and go with us through this moment," Reyes said.

The Napa County Sheriff's Office says this is just an unfortunate accident and that the rockslide was likely caused by the unstable ground left by the aftermath of the Napa earthquake mixed with wet weather.

If you would like to help with funeral costs, a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for expenses.