MIAMI (CBS4) – A memorial service was held Monday for a recent graduate of the University of Miami who died in an accident over the weekend.
Friends and family of Dino Ghilotti gathered for a mass at St. AugustineChurch across the street from campus. Friend Aytan Goodman attended the memorial service. He described Ghilotti as “a great guy, friendly, king, generous, loving, caring.”
Earlier in the day friends and family stopped at the accident scene. Family members placed flowers next to the broken street sign, prayed, and cried.
Dustin Tattoli, a friend of Dino’s, said he wanted to stop by the crash scene before going to the memorial service.
“I felt like it was something I needed to do,” he said.
The crash that claimed Ghilotti’s life happened Sunday morning around 4:30 a.m. on Bird Road at San Amaro Drive.
“Something jolted me out of bed,” said John Rodaz who lives nearby.
Coral Gables police said the BMW Ghilotti was riding in, driven by Allison Meyer, collided with another BMW driven by Rosalia Prado.
Rodaz said he saw the police and paramedics trying to save Ghilotti who had been in the front passenger seat.
“They were trying to resuscitate a young man over here, they weren’t successful,” Rodaz.
Police haven’t said how the accident happened. Gustav Montes, the husband of Rosalia Prado said his wife was coming home from work early Sunday morning when the crash occurred. He said she hurt her arm in the crash. “She has to have surgery,” he said.
Police have not charged or ticketed anyone and say their investigation is ongoing. “We’re trying to determine if speed was a factor also whether or not alcohol played a factor in this crash, so we’re waiting the results of the toxicology reports,” said Coral Gables Police Officer Dean Wellinghoff.
Friends of Ghilotti are devastated. Nicole Chessin who has known him since freshman year learned about his death from a friend.
“My heart literally froze,” she said. “He’s just such a nice kid. How can something like that happen to somebody who, there’s no reason, they don’t deserve it.”
“The entire university community is heartbroken to hear of the tragic traffic accident which resulted in the death of a UM student who just celebrated his graduation on Friday,” said UM Statement President Donna E. Shalala is a statement. “Dino Ghilotti, a School of Business major, had a bright future ahead of him and was about to join his family’s construction business. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends today.”
“He was on a good path,” said Chessin, “and now it’s just shocking how somebody could have all of that and all of the sudden blink just be gone.”
She said she’s started to look at life differently now.
“You have to appreciate everybody, your friends, your classmates. You can’t take anything for granted because you really never know what’s going to happen,” said Chessin.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.