Carlos Feliciano would give anything to hold his son’s hand again.
Ten-year-old Vitor Luis died Sunday night when, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Vinh Phan Le crashed into the car the little boy and his sister, Maria Eduarda, were in. The 12-year-old girl is out of the hospital and healing at home with her mother.
The LCSO report says the crash, on Lee Boulevard near Alvin Avenue, caused the car to slam into a power pole, snapping it in half. Le, of Texas, was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and DUI and remains in Lee County Jail on $310,000 bail.
“I was on the way home when I drove by the accident. At the time I had no idea the accident was with them involved,” Feliciano said.
Moments later, Feliciano got the call a parent never wants to get.
“The worst thing you can see is your kids, your child on the floor in an accident complaining about pain and there’s nothing you can do at that point except be there and try to keep them calm,” he said.
Fearing the worst, Feliciano rode with his two kids as they were taken to the hospital.
“Both of them were … they are my everything,” he said.
Vitor died at the hospital. Feliciano had to gather himself to tell his daughter.
“I had to step out of one room and go to my daughter’s room and find the strength to look at my daughter, pretend that everything’s OK to keep her calm, knowing next door it wasn’t OK,” Feliciano said. “When everything finally happened and I saw this is it, walking to her room, and I had to tell her it wasn’t OK anymore and it will never be OK.”
Back inside their Lehigh Acres home, there are suitcases packed for a trip to Brazil that Vitor will not make. His room will never again be filled with his laughter.
“If you want to have a drink, you want to have a beer, you want to have fun, by all means, but you have to choose,” Feliciano said. “You cannot have both. You cannot have a drink in one hand and a car key in another hand.”
The viewing for Vitor Luis will be held Monday at Lee Memorial Park, 12777 State Road 82. His funeral service will be Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the same location.