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Family, friends gather to remember 14-year-old killed in canal crash early Saturday morning

Loved ones gather to remember lives lost in tragic Homestead canal crash
Loved ones gather to remember lives lost in tragic Homestead canal crash

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A tearful tribute was held in Homestead as loved ones came together to remember a life lost in a crash over the weekend.

Friends and family gathering with balloons and flowers to mourn a 14-year-old who was killed, along with two others, in the tragic canal crash.

“If I was a crazy person and giving a bad example then okay fine, but it is not like that,” said Magaly Amador, 14-year-old Terrance Valdivia’s grandmother. “That’s why it really hurts. He was a good boy.”

Valdivia was one of the three people killed in the crash after officers said their car barreled through a guardrail before plunging into a canal off East Palm Drive and Southeast 28th Avenue in Homestead.

According to his sister Valdivia was out with a group of friends late Friday and was supposed to be home by midnight.

“I was shook when I got the messages I wasn’t expecting that,” said Precious Fernandez, Valdivia’s sister.

Family and friends gather to mourn the lives lost in a tragic canal crash in Homestead. (WPLG)

Police said it all started when the driver of the car Valdivia was riding in cut off a marked police unit around 3 a.m.

“That officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, at which point that vehicle turned its lights off and fled,” said Homestead Police Det. Eric Rodriguez.

The driver sped away, doing the same thing to a second officer about an hour later.

Police officers stopped a different driver when they learned what may have happened to the first car.

“That person advised that they heard a loud bang,” said Det. Rodriguez.

Miami-Dade Firefighters found the car submerged before pulling two men and a woman out of the water.

All three later died at the hospital.

Crews found a fourth victim several hours later on a dry embankment.

That person was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

Sunday night, Valdivia’s family remembered the teen and wished things ended differently.

“I told him plenty of times to stop hanging around with that person,” said Fernandez. “And he didn’t listen.


About the Author:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.