What to Know
- Ari Arteaga, the son of a UM baseball coach, was killed in a crash over the weekend that also hospitalized his girlfriend, Indira Rambarran.
- A final mass was held for Ari on Wednesday night, with many flooding Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami.
- His family will hold a private burial on Friday.
Loved ones packed a church Wednesday night to honor the life of the teen who died in a crash over the weekend in Miami-Dade.
Ari Arteaga, the 16-year-old son of a University of Miami baseball coach, died Saturday after his car struck a pole, also sending his girlfriend, 16-year-old Indira Rambarran, to the hospital.
Since the crash, multiple communities overwhelmingly showed their support for both families. On Wednesday night, Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami was so packed with people, the front doors had to be left open to allow for more to partake in the mass from outside.
Arteaga — who was soon to start his junior year at Christopher Columbus high school — is survived by his sister, mother and father — J.D. Arteaga — an assistant baseball coach at the University of Miami.
"You know, he was always around my locker," former UM baseball player Johnny Ruiz reminisced. "'Cause whenever he needed to borrow a ball, or a glove, or a bat to go hit with J.D. in the cage, I would always be the one to give it to him."
Ari was driving a Jeep Wrangler that night, with Indira by his side, when the car hit a median, forcing him to lose control and smash into an electric pole on SW 87th Avenue near 64th Street. Officials say he died on the scene.
"He was just a really good kid," Ruiz said. "His energy was infatuating."
"(Indira) does know now that Ari passed away," said Sr. Carmen Fernandez, the pastoral director of Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Rambarran's high school. "Her parents and Ari’s parents got together and explained that to her after her surgery.”
Indira remains at the hospital and is recovering at a miraculous speed that has impressed even the doctors.
Meanwhile, Ari’s loved ones are preparing for his private burial that will be held this Friday.
A GoFundMe page set up for Rambarran's medical costs has raised over $180,000 as of Wednesday night, surpassing the $125,000 goal.