MIAMI — Sebastian Vera learned just how precious life is in the most difficult way.
“Life is just super precious. You have to be careful and love your loved ones as much as possible,” said Vera.
Vera lost his father, Yaudys, when he and another cyclist were hit and killed on Rickenbacker Causeway back in May.
He visited the site of the accident for the first time.
“My father and I, he was my best friend.”
“I’d like him to be remembered as the great father that he was, a very nice guy, someone who helped everybody to succeed.”
“Personally, if I had a problem or anything like that he was the only person ever who I could speak to.”
Now, 17-year-old Sebastian has to find a new best friend, forced into becoming a father figure to his own younger brother, Lucas.
“Nothing really hit me til I had to break the news to my little brother which really, really hurt and that’s when it really hit me.”
In a mourning process that will likely never end, Sebastian and his mom, Haivyl, are finding some peace another way, knowing changes are already being made for cyclists on Rickenbacker Causeway.
“I’m glad they put the barricades up, I’m really, really happy.”
New barricades and increased traffic enforcement, along with new signage and reduced speed limits, all part of a $250,000 program just launched by Miami-Dade County to make this a safe spot for cyclists.
“There’s much more to do and we’re willing to push it, so nobody else goes thru this again.”
“It’s not just you driving, if you mess up, it’s not just your life, it’s other people and other families that suffer.”
Like Sebastian, his mom and little brother, Lucas, who learned too soon, the hard way, how precious life really is.
“From this moment on, I could have the most fortunate life in the world and I would still trade it to get my father back.”