Hundreds at Little Haiti memorial event mourn teen soccer players killed in crash

MIAMI (WSVN) - Loved ones and local leaders came together in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood to pay tribute to the three teenage boys who, police said, were killed by a drunk driver in North Miami.

Hundreds of people gathered at Little Haiti Soccer Park, Thursday night, to pay their respects to the three young victims in the May 25 crash.

Mourners said the teens were talented members of the community who had big dreams and were taken too soon.

“The kids did not deserve that,” said Father Reginald Jean-Mary, the pastor at the local Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church.

According to North Miami Police, 13-year-old Gedeon Desir, 15-year-old Lens Desir, who are not related, and 17-year-old Richecarde Dumay were killed as they walked on the sidewalk along Northeast 125th Street to catch a bus to a soccer game in Weston.

Investigators said 31-year-old Mariam Coulibaly plowed into the teens, killing them on impact.

Nearly two weeks later, the boys’ families, community, and local leaders were on hand in their honor on the same field where they practiced the game they loved.

“The deaths of Richecarde, Gedeon and Lens were a part of God’s mystery, but at the same time, it is a stupid death,” said Jean-Mary during a speech.

Hours earlier, Coulibaly sat in a wheelchair before a judge, bandaged and bruised.

“You’re being charged with driving under the influence, manslaughter, vehicular homicide in a reckless manner,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Renatha S. Francis.

Coulibaly appeared to be emotional in court, as prosecutors described her night of partying before she got behind the wheel of a black SUV.

“She was found to have a .15 [% blood alcohol concentration], almost twice the legal limit of alcohol,” said a prosecutor.

Back at the memorial, loved ones released balloons of various colors. Those who knew the star athletes said they are praying for the victims’ families and the strength to move on.

“We are broken, broken because of such a senseless death,” said Jean-Mary.

A mural has been painted at the park in the teens’ memory.

Coulibaly is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade on $300,000 bond.

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.