A young boy in Southwest Florida was killed recently in a crash that investigators say was caused by a suspected drunk driver. Loved ones continue to mourn his loss with community support in the process.
Family, friends and community members gathered to say goodbye to 10-year-old Vitor Luis at his funeral Tuesday.
Vitor was riding in a car with his sister when a driver in another vehicle hit them. His sister survived, and she is experiencing the reality of her brother’s death.
Vitor’s mother and father had no words to describe their pain and loss.
Principal Tracy Zenoniani of Harns Marsh Elementary School found the strength to remember how much Vitor loved a cold glass of Coca-Cola, joy in playing games, and his smile.
“He was just such a sweet soul that he never had an enemy. Everybody loved him. I know everybody says that about kids, but that’s really true about him,” Zenoniani said. “And he had many friends and having to tell his classmates was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
Laying flowers on Vitor’s casket was clearly one of the hardest things his parents ever had to do. The intimate ceremony was filled with comforting shoulders to cry on.
Zenoniani said that’s exactly what they did at school when they learned of Vitor’s death.
“It was hard. It was really hard,” Zenoniani said. “There was a lot of sobbing from the kids. We’re a wonderful family together, and the kids all joined together and hugged each other and consoled each other. The district sent out some grief counselors, and that’s kind of how we made it through the day.”
Harns Marsh Elementary will dedicate a birdbath at the campus garden to Vitor. It’s something the 10-year-old had talked about installing with one of his teachers. The school made a plaque, and students painted tributes on stones, so Vitor will never be forgotten.
Suspect Vinh Phan Le remains in custody at Lee County Jail with bond set at $310,000 after being arrested for the crash that killed Vitor.