Fundraiser aimed at sending body of taco truck worker home to Mexico

MILWAUKEE -- He was working at a taco truck when he left work and was fatally struck by a vehicle. Witnesses said he was being chased by people trying to rob him. The victim's brother is speaking out about the tragic loss.

"It hurts more when you know the guy was working. It isn't like it's a guy that was in trouble, doing something crazy. He was just leaving work," said Jose Lozoya, who helped organize a fundraiser to take Mateo Cardenas' body home to Mexico.

On Tuesday, Sept. 4 Cardenas, 35, was struck by a vehicle and killed. Police said he came out from between two parked cars when he was hit near 13th and Cleveland. Witnesses said he was being chased.

Fatal crash at 13th and Cleveland

"I am told he left work and they tried to rob him and he ran, and ran into oncoming traffic," said Lozoya.

Jose Lozoya

Multiple businesses came together to host a dance and taco vending event at the VIP Lounge MKE near 1st and National -- aimed at raising enough money to send Cardenas' body back home to Mexico.

"He was a good person. Very friendly. Always helping and always smiling," said Alfredo Cardenas, Mateo's brother.

Alfredo Cardenas said he was trying to remain strong for his brother's children.

"I want to know the truth of what happened," said Alfredo Cardenas.

Police are still investigating what led up to the fatal crash.

Alfredo Cardenas

"It's not easy losing a family member so suddenly," said Alfredo Cardenas.

Alfredo Cardenas said they would have to pay thousands to transfer his brother's body between both countries.

"Leaving work -- I mean, trying to do what he's supposed to do in life and get his kids ahead," said Lozoya.

Those assisting with the fundraiser said every last dime would go toward getting Mateo Cardenas to his final resting place.

The fundraiser was held on Thursday, Sept. 13, and we learned enough money was raised to send Mateo Cardenas home. He was buried on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Mateo Cardenas