MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been more than a year since Fernando Heria was killed by a driver while he was standing in the safety zone on the Palmetto Expressway. Friday, the wheels of justice slowly started moving forward in the case.
Florida Highway Patrol officers said Fernando Heria’s broken down car was in the safety zone right before the 42nd Street exit. He was standing outside when he was hit and the impact threw him far into the roadway, killing him.
Police said Medelaine de la Caridad Torredermert was driving drunk at the time of the accident. Friday, the case against her began. Torredermert also had federal charges against her for credit card skimming.
While the trial has been a long-time coming for the Heria family, it does little to ease the pain caused by the death of Fernando.
“The pain is too much my brother was only 25; he had a whole life ahead of him,” said Alexandra Ramirez, Fernando’s sister. “I will never see him have kids, get married, do everything he wanted to do.”
The pain is even worse for Fernando’s mom, Beatriz Heria.
“My son was a person full of life and dreams,” Beatriz said. “He was an athlete, a student, a young man full of dreams. Please to stop this, create a law that is stronger. May God have mercy on us that there is justice.”
The Heria family sat in court with other women who have lost sons and daughters to drunken driving accidents. All of them were in court as the case against Torredermert begins.
“If you have the money to go out there and buy yourself a drink for $15, $20 dollars, I’m sure you can find the money to get a taxi. You are destroying a family; you are destroying yourself,” Alexandra said.
Prosecutors in the case said Torredermert never called 911 after the accident. Instead she called her friends on Miami Beach and a tow-truck operator. All of them had time to arrive at the scene before paramedics could get there.
“My life is not the same, my life is destroyed,” Beatriz said. “I feel today that justice is being done for my son. Nothing is going to return my son. This person has destroyed my life and my family, and my daughters. She not only killed my son; she killed us.”