SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida highschool coach opened up concerning the lack of certainly one of his gamers after, police mentioned, he was fatally struck by a driver who fled the scene.
The news of the crash that took the lifetime of 17-year-old Justin Rivera in Southwest Miami-Dade, Friday morning, dealt a heavy blow to members of the family, mates and teammates.
Talking with 7News on Sunday, Victor Silva, the sufferer’s coach at Southridge Senior Excessive College, mentioned the teenager by no means missed a follow.
“It’s heartbreaking. Disbelief was one of many first issues that got here to my thoughts, like getting kicked within the intestine, you understand?” mentioned Silva. “One thing so actual is discovering out certainly one of your gamers isn’t there anymore, realizing that a number of hours [before the crash] he was enjoying a recreation.”
The coach mentioned Rivera, a punter with the Southridge Spartans, was hitting his stride on and off the sphere.
Sylva mentioned he was a beloved large brother, in addition to a respectful one who gave his all with a constructive angle when dealing with new challenges.
“Something we did, he’d be one of many first ones after we run, all the time keen to assist out the group,” mentioned Sylva.
Final Friday, the coach mentioned, Rivera was probably heading to the varsity’s weight room earlier than going to class.
“I do consider that he would get up at 5 o’clock and work out as a result of he had that drive,” mentioned Silva.
Miami Dade Police mentioned the sufferer was jogging alongside Southwest 152nd Road when a driver jumped the curb and drove onto the sidewalk.
Investigators mentioned the driving force of a 2018 Volkswagen Passat rammed into Rivera.
The teenager was pronounced lifeless on the scene, one week earlier than his closing homecoming recreation.
The subsequent day, police arrested Maria Rodriguez. They mentioned the 23-year-old driver didn’t cease or name 911.
As a substitute, police mentioned, the suspect drove off, leaving the highschool senior injured and alone.
“Leaving somebody there, not rendering assist, is appalling,” mentioned Silva.
Rivera leaves behind a number of brothers and sisters and a big, loving household.
Members of the family mentioned they’re praying for justice however are already assured Rivera is in a greater place.
Rodriguez bonded out of jail hours after her arrest.
Rivera can be honored through the group’s homecoming recreation, Friday evening.
A GoFundMe web page has been created for his household to assist with funeral bills. If you want to make a donation, click on here.
Rivera’s mom instructed 7News she needs to thank the group for his or her outpouring of assist and love for her son.
His youthful brother mentioned Rivera was the most effective large brother.
Rivera’s Celebration of Life Ceremony can be held on Saturday, Nov. 6 on the Miami Winery Church situated at 12727 SW 122 Ave. A time for the ceremony has not but been revealed however can be posted on the GoFundMe web page.
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