Joint funerals held for teen soccer players killed in North Miami crash
Family, friends say final farewells to members of Little Haiti FC soccer club
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Family and friends gathered Saturday morning to say their final farewells to three teenage soccer players killed in a crash last month in North Miami.
Grieving family members broke out into screams as they entered the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church for the joint funerals of Gedeon Desir, 13, Lens Desir, 15, and Richecarde Dumay, 17.
All three gifted athletes were members of the Little Haiti FC soccer club.
Their teammates joined the families in paying their respects.
Lens Desir's coach remembers him as an excellent player.
"Lens (played) a different way," Emmanuel Elia said. "He was a good defender, you know?"
Dumay's uncle said his nephew had a great sense of humor.
"He always put a smile on everybody's face," Nathaniel Dumay said.
Paulson Valcourt said his friend, Gedeon Desir, served as an altar boy.
"He was a good, quiet boy, very dedicated to the group," Valcourt said.
The promising lives of the youth soccer players were cut short the morning of May 25.
They woke up early to catch a bus on their way to a soccer tournament in Weston when Mariam Coulibaly's SUV drove onto the sidewalk and plowed into the teens on Northeast 125th Street near Northeast 13th Place.
North Miami police said Coulibaly was driving while intoxicated. She was arrested and faces three counts each of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
"She chose to drink and she chose to drive and made a reckless crash and killed three bright futures," Nathaniel Dumay said.
Overcome with emotion, one woman had to be led out of the church during the funeral service.
Through their heartbreak, the teens' friends and family are holding onto memories of happier times to get them through their loss.
"He probably would want us to be strong still," Nathaniel Dumay said. "I'm trying to stay strong."
Lens Desir and Richecarde Dumay were laid to rest at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in North Lauderdale. The body of Gedeon Desir will be sent back to Haiti for burial.
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