Dozens of people who have lost loved ones too soon came together at the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Thursday, telling different stories that share a similar kind of pain.
For some, like Kaely Camacho’s parents, the wound is still fresh.
"I see the love and support and I know that besides justice, we have supportive people in the community and we really appreciate that,” father Kirk Camacho said.
His 13-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident by alleged drunk driver Sandor Guillen, who was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he struck the Camachos’ minivan in Southwest Miami-Dade on April 13, police said. He faces several charges and was released from jail on house arrest this week.
Kaely Camacho’s father and sister Bree Ann, 16, were also in the minivan at the time of the crash and were briefly hospitalized.
Other victims gave them encouragement Thursday. One of those was a mother who has been in their shoes before, Helen Witty.
"She had such a presence – and yet she was gone so suddenly and so violently,” she said of her daughter, Helen Marie Witty.
More than a decade after her daughter’s life was taken by a driver who was drunk and under the influence of marijuana, she told the mourning Camachos that the wound of loss doesn't completely heal, but it does get better.
Through tears and smiles, crime victims honored their loved ones by encouraging others to keep going.
Kirk Camacho, grateful for the support, said he did not want the attention his family was receiving to take away from the pain of any of the victims here.
"They hurt just as bad or worse than us. I love all of you guys, and I’m sorry for your losses as well,” he told them.