Texas mother honors late son by encouraging people to ride empty tube in river

BELLVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- An empty tube on the river is full of memories for a Texas family who lost their son too early.

Tracy Wendt Corum's 17-year-old son, Justin Hernandez, died after he was reportedly accidentally shot by his uncle, 22-year-old Eduardo Hernandez on May 15. Hernandez was charged with manslaughter.

But just about a year before her son's death, Tracy and Justin had taken a mother-son tubing trip on the Guadalupe River.

"We had a blast and planned to do it every year with friends and family," Corum said.

With the sudden loss of her son, she wanted to find a way to honor him while still keeping those fond memories they had bonding.

Corum posted a photo on Facebook of an empty tube that she released in the Guadulupe River in New Braunfels and asked people to take it for a ride in honor of Justin.

"Justin's life was tragically lost and our world will never be the same. Help me honor my sweet boy," Corum wrote.

The post has been shared thousands of times, and Corum is encouraging people to share photos if they find the tube.

"Prayers for peace, calmness and for lots of pictures of Justin floating on," Cheryl T. wrote.

"Justin has always had a loving heart. He represented what this world needs more of - love, friendship, hard working, honest and maturity. Always had a beautiful smile on his face and could make you laugh at any time," Corum said.

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