MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Loved ones came together in Miami Beach, Sunday, to mark the one-year anniversary of a crash that claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy.
Family and friends of Rudra Bhatt gathered at the spot where the teen was struck and killed by a truck while riding his bike last year, along Alton Road and Delaware Avenue.
His parents said their only child was a kind person. “Very dear and loving. He loved to help everyone. He loved to help the community,” said his mother.
Rudra was returning home on his bicycle after tutoring a classmate. His father, Dakshesh Bhatt, was tracking the teenager’s cellphone when the signal was lost.
Officials said he was fatally struck across the street from Fisher Park.
The Bhatts’ attorney, Edward Blumberg, said the city conducted its own investigation. “The City of Miami Beach had a special investigation done by its police, and a specially trained traffic homicide investigator came out looking for physical evidence and take measurements,” he said. “He determined that, indeed, the obstruction to vision that existed on this corner was a reason that Rudra Bhatt was not seen.”
Family friend Tatiana Carciente said Rudra, an honor student at Miami Beach High School, was very smart. “He was the most brightest boy ever,” she said, “You could tell he would have been Mark Zuckerberg or another computer genius,” she said.
Dakshesh said he is stunned that the same bus bench that likely blocked the truck driver’s vision still stands. “Still is one year and they didn’t do nothing, so I don’t know if they are waiting for one more tragedy to happen,” he said.
The family’s attorney says Clear Channel had a contract to build the bus shelter, but the city hasn’t made any changes. “The inescapable conclusion is that the City of Miami Beach is ignoring the safety of our children in exchange for getting the revenue from Clear Channel for having this sign, this obstruction to motorists’ vision,” he said.
But Rudra’s parents said they hope the teenager who gave back to his community and his school didn’t give his life in vain. They don’t want anyone else to lose their life in the same way.
“I want to tell the City of Miami Beach: please, remove this obstruction to prevent in the future what we are suffering,” said Dakshesh.
The City of Miami Beach has not responded to 7News’ calls for comment.
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