MIAMI (WSVN) - A beloved star Miami Marlins baseball player who died in boating a boating accident is getting a salute from a South Florida community.
Jose Fernandez was among one of the best young pitchers in Major League Baseball, and Miami-Dade County Commissioners want his legacy to live on.
A section of Northwest 17th Avenue, near Marlins Park, will be renamed Jose Fernandez Avenue.
Commissioners approved the proposal in honor of the 24-year-old.
Fernandez and friends Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero were killed when the athlete’s boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach, on Sept. 25. “It was truly tragic,” said Miami resident Victor McCoy.
The proposal received city backing, despite the release of Fernandez’s autopsy results that revealed he was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system at the time of the high speed crash. It remains unknown, however, if he was at the helm of the boat. “Pretty common with a lot of celebrities and athletes, which you know, people hold them to a higher standard,” McCoy said.
David Bergeron with the New River Wellness Center said that the autopsy has not tainted his vision of Fernandez. “He paid the ultimate price for making a bad decision, but that still doesn’t define him as a person,” he said.
Macias and Rivero also had alcohol in their system and cocaine was found in Rivero’s blood.
Regardless of his actions that night, fans want to remember Fernandez’s name and his contribution to South Florida. “He was human, but we want to honor his life, all the positive things he did,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro.
Another resident said Fernandez had a positive impact on her family. “I think it’s a great idea. I come from a family of huge baseball fans, and he was a role model to my nephew,” said Jennifer Quinones.
Commissioners also voted to officially express condolences for Fernandez’s family and friends. There will be a public event to officially change the street signs.
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