A car crash on Saturday in Miami took the life of a 16-year-old athlete, bringing heartbreak that touched two area high schools, the University of Miami and the Boston Red Sox.
Ari Arteaga was killed, and his girlfriend, Indira Rambarran, sustained "incapacitating injuries" when Arteaga's Jeep Wrangler bumped the median, swerved across the road and crashed into a utility pole, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Arteaga played baseball and football at Miami's Columbus High School and was the son of University of Miami associate head coach J.D. Arteaga. Rambarran played volleyball at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami.
J.D. Arteaga is a former star baseball player at Miami and the best friend of Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who also played for the Hurricanes and said Arteaga's family practically adopted him when he arrived in Miami from Puerto Rico.
Cora walked into the Red Sox locker room before Sunday's game against the Minnesota Twins wearing a University of Miami T-shirt and with the initials AA on his cap.
"To go through the night and all the phone calls and everything that happened with the kid, God bless. He was 16," Cora told The Boston Globe after the game. "My daughter is 16. I had the toughest call of my life this morning just to tell her what happened.
"I've got to be honest, today was a tough day for us as a family. What happened to Ari, I can't even explain it."
Miami posted messages of condolence from athletic director Blake James and baseball coach Gino DiMare.
We're incredibly saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Ari Arteaga. Our thoughts and condolences are with J.D. and the Arteaga Family. pic.twitter.com/f75U025WjL— Miami Hurricanes (@MiamiHurricanes) July 29, 2018
It was the second death to touch UM in the past three days, after former Hurricanes running back Tyrone Moss died Thursday night at 33 from an unspecified illness.
Columbus High football coach Chris Merritt canceled Sunday's scheduled celebration to signal the start of football practice, posting a heartfelt note on Facebook.
"He's an absolute clone of J.D. -- a great kid, great athlete and great student," recently retired Miami baseball coach Jim Morris told the Miami Herald. "Ari grew up in our ballpark. Everyone is devastated. I don't even know how J.D. can handle this. Ari was everything you'd want in a son.''