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Chinese Community Holds Vigil For Students Killed In Pinecrest

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Pinecrest is considering changes to an intersection after two college students were killed.  (Source: CBS4)

Pinecrest is considering changes to an intersection after two college students were killed. (Source: CBS4)

South Florida Crime

PINECREST (CBSMiami) –  Members of the Chinese community held a vigil Friday night for two University of Miami Students killed while crossing the street.

The vigil was held to honor the victims killed and bid farewell.

The family of one of the victims, on Tuesday, traveled halfway around the world to get answers and perform a ritual for their lost loved one.

Authorities say 27-year old Ying Chen and 26-year old Hao Liu were crossing the street on 88th and SW 68th Court around 8 p.m. on October 16 when they were both struck by a Porsche driven by 47-year old Milady Pequeno.

Police say Pequeno did stop several hundred yards away from where the collision took place.

Upon arrival from China, the victim’s family performed a Chinese ritual on the street corner to remember the young lives lost in what – so far – appears to be a tragic accident.

“We believe their soul will come back on the seventh day.  And this is why her mother is praying on the sidewalk,” said U.M. student Ping Zou.

Chen was getting her Ph.D. in electrical engineering while Liu was also getting his Ph.D.

Family and friends gathered to remember two students who’d come here from the other side of the world to complete their studies and make their families proud.

“She teach me how to play Chinese guitar…so sorry for her death,” said Verong Xia, the victim’s roommate.

The Chinese consul sent representatives to console the family and meet with fellow U.M. students who are concerned no charges have been filed in the case. 

University of Miami President Donna Shalala also released this statement:

“The entire University community is heartbroken at the loss of two students who were struck and killed by a car in an accident Wednesday night near their off-campus apartments.  Hao Liu and Ying Chen were international graduate students from China in their first year of study, majoring in electrical and computer engineering. Our Student Affairs staff has been working closely to offer support to their families, who have our deepest sympathies at this difficult time. The University’s Counseling Center and Chaplains are available to students impacted by this tragic accident.” 

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