SURFSIDE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner has identified a victim who died following the partial building collapse in Surfside.
Stacie Fang, 54, was identified on Friday. Fang died at Aventura Hospital after being transported from the Champlain Towers South Condo, Thursday morning.
She has since been identified as Jonah Handler‘s mother. The family has requested reporters not to show photos of Fang at this time.
Handler was also pulled out of the rubble and transported to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Handler’s father requested the hospital to withhold information on his son’s injuries.
Handler, who is a sophomore at Monsignor Edward Pace High School, plays for the school’s junior varsity baseball team. The school sent out a tweet that read, in part, “We ask that you please keep Jonah, his family and all those affected in your prayers as search and rescue efforts continue.”
Nicholas Balboa helped first responders pull Handler out of the rubble.
“I can hear somebody yelling and screaming,” Balboa said. “I saw an arm sticking out of the wreckage. He was screaming, ‘Can you see me?’ He was just screaming, ‘Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!’ He said that his mother was in the apartment with him, as well, so I couldn’t see her or hear her, so I have no idea what her status is, but I do pray that she is all right.”
Fang’s cause of death has been determined to have been the result of blunt force injuries.
A family friend has since released the following statement on behalf of the Fang and Handler family:
“There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Stacie. The members of the Fang and Handler family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy, compassion and support we have received. The many heartfelt words of encouragement and love have served as a much-needed source of strength during this devastating time. On behalf of Stacie’s son, Jonah, we ask you now to please respect our privacy to grieve and to try to help each other heal.”
At the same time, the family of Deven Gonzalez has asked for prayers from the public. The 16-year-old was critically injured in the collapse, and her sister shared photos on social media.
Gonzalez’s mother has also been hospitalized, and their father, Edgar Gonzalez, is among the missing.
Those who have missing loved ones should visit the Family Reunification Center at 9449 Collins Ave. or call 305-614-1819.
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