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Alexis Gutierrez Sr. remembers his son, Alexis Jr., who was killed in a crash in Pembroke Pines.
More than two dozen friends and family members gathered around a makeshift memorial Sunday evening for a young man who lost his life in a single car accident in Pembroke Pines over the weekend.
Alexis Eduardo Gutierrez would have been celebrating his 23rd birthday next week but now his father, Alexis Sr., must prepare to bury his son. He says he was woken up by a knock on the door from police on Sunday morning.
"When I opened the door, I knew what was next," he told NBC 6 in Spanish.
His son, a passenger in a 1990 Nissan sedan, was ejected from his seat after Pembroke Pines Police say the driver, 21-year-old Kevin Singh, lost control of the car. It happened around 1 a.m. Sunday near Southwest 145th Avenue and Pines Boulevard.
The car jumped the curb then smashed into a utility pole, the impact splitting the vehicle in half.
Pembroke Pines Police believe speed may have been a factor and are trying to determine if alcohol was a factor as well. Alexis' father says he already knows the answer.
"The cocktail of speed, alcohol, and irresponsibility is disastrous," he said.
"He was just a very good friend and it's unfortunate it happened," said Ernesto Torres, a close friend.
"This is a tragedy but its just a lesson for the ones remaining," said Nicolas Moreno, who knew the victim for over a decade. He says he bonded with Alexis over their shared nationalities. They are both Venezuelan.
Alexis' father says he doesn't want his son to die in vain. He is asking parents to have that tough talk with their children: warn them not to get in the car with someone who's been drinking.
"The driver of the car, he's at home with three stitches. My son is in the city morgue," he said.
Pembroke Pines Police say the investigation continues.