A South Florida mother and father say a driver who never should have been behind the wheel killed their son.
“It’s insane and mind blowing that someone can just have a little slap on the wrist and go happily ever after the next day with the opportunity to drive and do the same thing again,” Tom Balenovic said.
He and Cathy Balenovic are grieving the loss of their 25-year-old son, Luka, who was killed last month when he was hit on his motorcycle.
Gerardo Valdivia was charged with knowingly driving with a suspended driver’s license and making an illegal left turn when the family said he made an illegal left turn at a Miami intersection on Aug. 6, striking Balenovic’s motorcycle.
“He was going straight at a green light, on a motorcycle, with his helmet on,” his mother said.
The family said Valdivia’s actions Friday reinforce just why the laws need to get tougher when it comes to repeat offenders. Valdivia had been arrested before on traffic violations and sometimes the charges were dismissed, court records show.
He did not show up for his arraignment Friday in Miami-Dade court, where the Balenovics were waiting to get a look at him.
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“My feeling is that if you are driving on a suspended license and there is a fatality involved, you should be in prison until your hearing date,” Cathy Balenovic said.
The judge is putting out an arrest warrant for Valdivia now.
The family says Luka Balenovic was about to go into the Navy and would have been sworn in Saturday.
“This is like (an) out-of-body experience,” Tom Balenovic said. “I can’t describe my feelings. I lost my son. I will never see him again.”