Krista Deans

Vigil Held in Honor of South Dade High School Principal

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Thursday evening for Javier Perez, the South Dade High School principal who was struck by an SUV at his son's Little League game.

"It's definitely brought out a somber vibe to the school. Teachers and administrators are feeling it," said Bryce Febres, student.

"We're all waiting and praying he gets better. We want him to come back. It's a shame because he's a wonderful person," said Sabrina Ayala, parent.

Perez was hit and pinned to a cement block Tuesday night by an SUV at Tamiami Park. He was coaching a Little League baseball game when it happened. The vehicle busted through a fence and onto the field.

Since then prayers for healing and messages of support hang throughout campus and all over social media.

"Having to hear what happened to him, it was terrifying. We love Mr. Perez and we're here to pray for him and hope he's doing better," said Juan Castillo, student.

Students say the school is really coming together, hoping Perez hears what's in their hearts.

"I really hope he gets well. It's hard to find people like him around. It's rare to find someone so genuinely caring of their school," Febres said.

"Javier Perez is the bow tie man. He's a tough person with great passion and compassion and we honor him and tonight is Buccaneer night across the district," said Alberto Carvalho, MDCPS Superintendent.

Perez remains at Kendall Regional Medical Center. He has undergone multiple surgeries to save his life.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Perez and his family with medical expenses.

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