DOD: September 19, 2016
The parents of Daniel “Danny’ Rodriguez Kostyk are still deeply grieving over their beloved eldest son. On September 19, 2016, at 12:15am, Danny was driving his car, a 2007 Hyundai Elantra, on I-40 W/I-65 S near the Dr. D.B.Todd Boulevard overpass in Nashville, TN.
The known details of what occurred next go like this: the passenger side of Danny’s car was sheared off including the doors but the driver’s side and interior were pristine. Danny exited his car on foot, walked a little bit and sat down on the interstate. Witnesses reported that a tractor-trailer traveling west on I-40 struck Kostyk. The driver did not stop.
For the next 4 hours, the highway was closed for the investigation. The family received a preliminary report at that time. After NPDR reached out to both Mike Gilliland and Kevin Coleman of the Nashville Police Department in December 2017, the family was able to sit and discuss the final report and have gained a sense of closure stating that they finally understand what happened to their 21 year old son.
Danny was kind and motivated. A young man who ‘wanted to help’. After 2 years at the University of Kentucky, where he was studying business administration, he started his own moving company called ‘Labor Is Us’. In his first year, he earned seventy thousand dollars despite taking clients, particularly elderly clients, who could not pay. His dad tells a story of him running late to a meeting because he stopped to buy an elderly man something to eat. His generosity was apparent to all.
Daniel Rodriguez Kostyk arrived in the US from Venezuela in 2004 at the age of 10 with his mom, dad and little brother, Davie. Both boys shared a birthday: December 18th and were close. Danny was a 'typical millennial' per his parents. He did not care for material possessions and stressed to his father, a hard working guy, owner of 2 cell phone businesses and a cooking supply store, that family was most important. In 2012, he graduated from La Vergne High School. He was an avid soccer player and saxophonist. He had a pretty girlfriend. His mom describes him as ‘very smart’ and ‘always smiling’.
When he passed, he was wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. The police returned just a single credit card as his only possession.
When Danny’s mom, Nathaly, awoke the following morning, she saw her son’s car on the news footage. No part of her thought it could be her son’s. But by 9a, they were at the police station as he has not arrived home.
His body was intact but too damaged to be seen. The family never saw him again. They were offered a lock of his hair which they keep with his portrait. He is buried at Mapleview Cemetery in Smyrna directly next to the soccer fields he used to play on.
It has been a little over one year at the time of writing this piece. Nathaly and Jose describe difficulties dealing with the unknown circumstances of their son’s death. Danny’s father is the oldest in his family and Danny was the first grandson and very loved. They have closed the 2 cell phone stores. His little brother, Davie, struggles, too and has recently traveled to Chicago and now Miami for a needed change of pace. His mom has trouble walking by her son’s bedroom in their home. The family is thinking of moving to Texas to be with more family as they are all alone here. They express difficulty in the idea of leaving Danny here if they go.
If you have any information on what happened to Danny on September 19, 2016 please alert the Nashville police department at 615-862-8600 or email us here at Contact.
How he Was Lost
Daniel Rodriguez Kostyk, of LaVergne, was killed just after midnight on September 19, 2016 after he was struck by a tractor-trailer on I-40 West/I-65 South near the Dr. D.B. Todd Boulevard overpass. Prior to the fatal crash, Kostyk, 21, was driving his 2007 Hyundai Elantra south on I-65 when he struck the center concrete barrier at the I-40 overpass. According to witnesses, he got out of his vehicle, which came to rest in the first lane of I-65, and walked to where the I-40 west overpass connects with I-65 South and sat down on the interstate. A tractor-trailer traveling west on I-40 struck Kostyk. The driver did not stop and continued westbound on I-40. It is unclear whether the driver of the tractor-trailer was aware that he had struck Kostyk.