Nashville family hope to send loved one back to Guatemala after fatal hit-and-run

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville family has been grieving for days after a man was killed in a hit-and-run accident late last week. The crime remained unsolved for days, until Thursday when Metro Police announced the wanted suspect had surrendered to police.

“Yesterday was the eighth day. No more, no more,” Pedro Taperia-Primero told a translator. “It hurts a lot because my mum passed away last year, and with all that, the truth is it’s very hard on the family.”

Taperia-Primero’s brother Mario was killed crossing Dickerson Pike when a motorist saw him and stopped to let him cross. However, once Marion reached the second lane, a four-door sedan hit him before driving off and fleeing the scene.

Initially, the victim was described as having short black hair and wearing dark clothing, but had no identification on him. Later, the police will identify him as 36-year-old Mario Taperia-Primero.

“I called my nephew and asked him where his father was. My nephew said his father hadn’t come home,” Pedro recalls.

Mario was dead at the scene.

On Thursday, Metro Police announced that the suspect, 18-year-old Detavious Buchanan, had surrendered to police. He admitted that on February 17, he was driving a black 2006 Chevrolet Malibu when he hit Mario. Buchanan told police he thought he hit a pothole, according to a news release.

Buchanan is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, failing to signal and render assistance and failing to yield to a pedestrian resulting in death. He is free on $10,000 bond.

“I hope my brother rests in peace. A lot of people are crying. He has his two children here and he was going to take care of them,” Pedro said.

According to the family, Mario and his two sons had come to the United States from Guatemala to provide a better life for their entire family. Back home in Central America, Mario leaves behind his wife and six other children.

The family’s goal was to build a house in Nashville, a house that could accommodate the large family. Now Mario’s two eldest sons are left here, parentless.

“It’s a terrible thing, we have remained orphans, my brother and I. My brother and I are alone here and the rest of the family is in Guatemala. My mother is without her partner, and it’s terrible,” said Mario’s eldest son, Pablo Taperia-Velaquez. “Dad, I will make your dream come true.”

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The family now hopes to send Mario’s body back to Guatemala for a proper burial. They told News 2 that normally they would never ask for help, but due to the amount of money it would take to send him home, they need help. If you would like to donate, they ask that you message a phone number set up by the family at (615) 586-4377.

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