WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The parents of the Florida International University student who was killed when a new pedestrian bridge collapsed near campus last week said their lives will never be the same again.
Alexa Duran was the only FIU student student killed in the collapse that took place Thursday afternoon along Southwest Eighth Street.
“She was coming back from school,” said her mother, Gina Duran.
Her father, Orlando Duran, said her passing has created a huge void in his life.
“I don’t think I’ll ever, ever be the same again, because my friend is not here anymore,” he said.
The victim’s family showed 7News a photo of Alexa as a little girl posing with her older sister Dina.
“My oldest daughter, Dina, is totally devastated right now,” said the grieving father. “The little sister would look up to Dina.”
Alexa was 18 years old. She was a freshman majoring in political science.
Her father said she aspired to be a writer and a lawyer.
“Alexa, she wasn’t just my daughter. She was also my friend,” he said. “She knew what was going through me just by looking at me. She’d always take care of me. She used to cover me when I was cold. We were very close from the beginning.”
Her parents’ joy was clear in a photo where they posed with the teen.
“I loved my daughter like there was no tomorrow,” Gina said. “Please, mamita, you know I loved you, OK?”
The heartbroken mother is now making funeral arrangements.
Alexa became trapped in her car and was unable to get out. Her passenger, Richie Humble, was able to get out of the vehicle and call 911, but it was too late for his friend.
Orlando was never able to say goodbye. “I wanted to tell you goodbye. I wanted to see you one last time just to say goodbye,” he said. “I wanted to tell you how much I love you and that I’m looking forward to meeting you and that I don’t know when that is going to happen.”
Alexa’s parents are now faced with the expense, the trauma and the painful process of burying their daughter. They are hoping for the community’s help.
“Mamita, I love you. I’m going to see you, OK?” said Gina.
She then paused and added, “But not now. I’m gonna take care of your sister, OK? And I love you, mami.”
Their baby girl is gone forever, but their love for her will last for an eternity.
Alexa’s sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, will hold a remembrance event in her honor, Thursday evening.
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