Juliani Delerme had graduated from ITech Educational Center high school in June and was set to start classes at Miami Dade College later this month. His parents bought him a car, a Toyota Camry, and he began a new job at a fitness center about two weeks ago.
But on Oct. 11, the 18-year-old died following a car crash on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami Gardens.
“He was supposed to be the one to carry my legacy, he’s not going to be able to anymore,” said Wesly Delerme, a former broadcaster with Radio Kiskeya in Haiti, through tears during a phone interview. “It’s our new reality. My wife and I won’t know what our lives will be like in the coming days, years.”
The teen was on his way to work at Planet Fitness when he lost control of his Camry along State Road 826 last Saturday. The car rolled over multiple times, causing Delerme to suffer numerous injuries, including four broken ribs, a broken left elbow, broken fingers, a broken jaw and major bruising.
Paramedics rushed Delerme to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center nearby.
“I saw my son with so much blood on the bed — my own blood,” Wesly Delerme said. “I felt devastated, but hopeful because he was still alive.”
The young man underwent four major surgeries before being put on life support. Two days later, he succumbed to his injuries.
In a Facebook post, Wesly Delerme said his son’s last words were ‘I love you too daddy. Tell mommy that I love her.’
Delerme is survived by his parents, Wesly and Renee Delerme, and two siblings — Vaudelor, 26, and Daniel, 12.
Throughout the week, friends and family are remembering Delerme as a tech savvy, eager youth who liked to use his talents to help loved ones, doing everything from fixing their computers to teaching them how to use software. He was part of the sound engineering and media team at Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church, where Wesly Delerme is chairman of the deacon board, in Miami Gardens.
“He worked tirelessly in helping others with love, patience and passion,” said Andris St. Cyr, a family friend, in a Facebook comment. “Whenever you [Wesly Delerme] conducted back-to-school activities over the years, your loved son Juliani always was on your side helping fix the school materials the night before.”
Besides tech, Delerme’s many hobbies included music. He played the trumpet with the Miami Music Project band since middle school, and performed in more than a dozen concerts.
Delerme is also remembered by his family for his natural leadership abilities.
“When we were going on vacation, he was the one who took the lead and started packing,” Wesley Delerme said. “He printed the boarding passes, checked the suitcases. And he reminded us about when vacation time was coming and asked what we’re going to do. We miss him a lot.”
A viewing will be held at Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral service at noon.