Roadside memorial for victims of deadly New Year’s Day crash destroyed, video shared on social media

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A memorial to victims killed in a crash on New Year’s Eve was desecrated by a vandal who posted their crime to social media.

The victims’ friends and family were devastated and in disbelief that anyone could destroy the roadside memorial in West Miami-Dade and document their own crime to social media.

Loved ones came out to rebuild the memorial and gather there Wednesday night to honor four people whose lives were tragically cut short.

“It’s been hell for us. It’s hard. It’s like killing them again,” said Andres Medina.

This comes after disturbing and difficult-to-watch videos were posted to social media.​

One of the videos shows someone destroying the roadside memorial on West Flagler Street and Northwest 79th Avenue, which was dedicated to Medina’s daughter, 21-year-old Yuhlia Barzaga, her boyfriend, Christian Mohip, and their friends, Andres Zacarias and Jenser Salazar.

The four were tragically killed in a crash early New Year’s Day.​

“I don’t understand where he was coming from or what good he thought he was doing,” Medina said.

Another video shows what appears to be someone urinating on the names of the four victims.

“You’re a coward. You’re a coward. If you had the guts to do such a horrible thing, why don’t you just show your face?” Medina said.

Florida Highway Patrol said the person who caused the crash was 16-year-old Alex Garcia.

Garcia turned himself in to police on Monday.

“It’s just the first step to justice for our kids,” Medina said.

Garcia’s attorney said his client is innocent, but troopers said he was driving over 100 mph when he slammed into the car.

“Blood samples that were obtained from the defendant shortly after the crash revealed that the defendant had both marijuana and alcohol in his blood,” said FHP Lt. Alex Camacho.

By Wednesday morning, the destruction had been cleaned up, and at night a new memorial was set up in its place, with dozens attending to show their support and tell stories.

“They were loved, all four kids. They were four amazing kids, and they were very loved,” Medina said.

The videos had been posted on a couple of different Twitter accounts, which have since been deleted.

It’s still unclear who vandalized the memorial and who made the posts.

Medina told 7News, regardless of who’s responsible, it won’t stop him and his family from honoring the lives of Yuhlia, Christian, Andres and Jenser.

“I just want to keep their memories alive, and I’m happy with that,” Medina said.

Yuhlia’s family said FHP is actively investigating the vandalism incident.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.