GARLAND, Texas - A 20-year-old man who was killed by a suspected drunk driver was laid to rest Saturday, after a legal battle between his biological family and Child Protective Services.
James Fofanah was killed more than two weeks before his funeral. His services were on hold until a judge decided what to do about his burial.
“This is all the family's been trying to do is put our loved one to rest,” said James’ father, Foday Fofanah.
A judge ruled on Tuesday that Fofanah’s biological family would ultimately have the right to bury him, after a small memorial for his CPS family to pay their final respects.
“He was a kid that went through a whole lot, but never let anything hold him down,” said his foster father, Bill Harris.
Harris says Fofanah came to live in his home from 8th grade until he graduated high school.
“He was always giving a willing hand to help anybody, you could be on the street, he'd help you. That's the kind of person [he was] he died the way he liked doing things,” he said.
Those who knew Fofanah say it was that spirit that led him to pull over and help when he saw another driver get into an accident on LBJ on July 21st. Garland Police say 23-year-old Ashlynn Hurley crashed into them, killing both Fofanah and the driver he was trying to help.
”I don't have any bad wishes on her or anything, I just pray for her that she gets herself together and she recognizes what she did was wrong,” said Harris.
Saturday morning, friends shared memories of the 20-year-old who was working toward his associates degree at Richland College, and loved playing basketball.
“He always smiled, he never frowned, he never cried, nothing. His spirit was just so strong, he was just a strong person,” said his friend, Cody Gaye.
Fofanah’s biological family tells FOX 4 they have no hard feelings on the legal battle and thanked CPS for being able to bury him.