DAVIE (CBSMiami) – A Nova Southeastern University baseball player has been named as the victim in a deadly crash that took place early Sunday morning.
The crash took place around 5:30 a.m. and shut down part of I-75 for several hours while authorities investigated.
Dallas Perez, a 21-year-old sophomore at NSU was pronounced dead on the scene.
“The entire Sharks family is saddened and shocked by this tragic news,” said Director of Athletics Michael Mominey. “Dallas represented what NSU baseball and NSU athletics is all about. We share in the grief alongside the Perez family as we all mourn his loss.”
Authorities said on Sunday a car that may have been speeding came up behind a maroon SUV and clipped it.
That caused the car, which was driven by Perez, to travel down an embankment on the side of I-75 and crash into an underpass, where it flipped on its side and burst into flames.
Perez passed away inside the vehicle before rescue workers could arrive.
“There are no words to heal and no mistaking the pain. We are all at a deficit in the wake of this tragedy, but none more than his family,” said NSU head baseball coach Greg Brown. “My heart is saddened; there is a void. And there are harder days ahead. We will all mourn in our own way. Please know that there is no protocol and right or wrong. I believe life is about relationships and about people. This pain will heal in time. Sharks Family forever. DP21 Forever.”
On Monday, Brown and teammates left flowers in front of Perez’s locker in the dugout.
“We just came here to be in each other’s presence,” Brown said. “We loved Dallas very much and we miss him.”
The driver of the SUV did not sustain any injuries.
This all happened in the southbound lanes of I-75 between the exits for Sheridan Street and Griffin Road.
Perez was a finance major at NSU and a part of their 2016 baseball national championship team.
He transferred to NSU after playing football at another school.
On the field, he played a fast game and was known for stealing bases.
Off the field, he was known as a quiet guy and a good friend.
“He had a great smile. He was just a young man who really understood being a teammate,” Brown said.
The university will make crisis counselors available for anyone needing to speak with someone about the tragedy.