CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – An emotional candlelight vigil was held in the Coral Springs community–just one step in the grieving process for more than a hundred friends and family that packed a small park, right across the street where victim Marisa Catronio lived.
“It just puts everything into perspective. That we all get to go home and kiss our kids at night and they didnt last night,” a neighbor said at the vigil.
An emotional evening for friends and family hit with a sudden and unexpected loss.
Gary Catronio, Marisa’s father, told CBS4’s Jamie Guirola, “She’s crafty. She’s smart. She’s intelligent. She’s a bright young lady with a life ahead of her that’s gone.”
Marisa Catronio, 21, was a passenger in a car hit by a wrong way driver on the Sawgrass Expressway early Sunday morning. Marisa was killed on impact.
Dustin Catronio, Marisa’s brother said, “Just seeing us as a four not a five as a family it just feels incomplete without that 5th piece.”
More than a hundred friends family and strangers lit candles, shared hugs, and wiped tears. As Marisa’s family hangs on to memories that help, if even for a moment, forget the pain
Dustin said, “Just like baking all her cookies shell bake like 1000 cookies in a few days and that’s like the best part, I love that, and I’m probably gonna miss a lot.”
The vigil wasn’t just about a tribute it was about a cause and a call to action. Marisa’s father Gary doesn’t want another family to have similar heartache. The deadly accident that happened on the same stretch of road also happened before five years ago.
“We did this to send the message up that we’re not gonna stop until we get something done on the highways and let it be heard that were gonna try and correct this wrong way,” Gary said.
Marisa was in her car being driven by her best friend Kaitlyn Ferrante when the driver of another vehicle , Kayla Mendoza, was going the wrong way and slammed into them.
Megan Barber, a close friend, said, “She will always be in my heart. She will be with me.”
As the family comes to grips with the details of Marisa’s death they are thankful for all the love and support in the air.
Gary said, “Marisa’s an angel up there now, you can see how we’ve lit off all these candles into the sky for her and Marisa’s blowing them out one at a time.”
Funeral services are tomorrow and a wake is Friday morning. We’re told Marisa’s best friend Kaitlyn is an organ donor and its only a matter of time before her parents remove her from life support.