Family of 23-year-old killed in Orlando crash say he had his whole life ahead of him

Romero’s Tuscany by the Sea sits across the street from the Flagler Beach Pier. You can feel the warm sun and hear the waves crashing on the beach from outside. It’s a perfect spot for a night out, but today the restaurant is closed, and flowers lay at the foot of the door. A community is left grieving the loss of one of its own.

The Romero’s son Christian, 23, was a regular at the family restaurant. His father walked us to the very back of the restaurant to one table meant for two.

"This is my son's table and it’s going to be for him," said Miguel Romero.

Romero fought back tears sitting in his son’s seat. The same place he’d expect to see his son almost daily. Romero says Christian was his biggest supporter. He pushed his father to achieve his goal of opening the restaurant four years before.

"All the time he’d tell me, I’m so proud of you, Daddy. You were able to build this restaurant. I know it’s not easy but you’re strong and you did it," said Romero.

With Christians's spot at the table now empty, his family is left holding onto the last messages he sent to them.

"His sisters every day they had a daily chat that they always spoke to each other, and he would always send them daily inspirations saying hey, keep your head above water because tomorrow’s going to be better and that he loves them or he loves us," said Christian’s mother Dawn Romero.

Christian was coming off the 408 in Orlando Sunday morning around 4:30 am about to take a left turn onto Dean Rd. His family says he was driving home after quitting his side job at a bar to pursue his dreams full-time.

"He said Daddy you have to do what you have to do because life is too short," said Miguel recalling the last time he spoke to his son. "I said son, you have your whole life in front of you."

Florida Highway Patrol says a stolen car being driven by a 15-year-old with five other teens inside blew throw a red-light striking Christian’s car. His family says the car was going so fast that it left the ground and struck Christian’s driver’s side window.

"They only go to the hospital, and they’re alive, but, not for me. I have to do all of this for my son because he doesn’t have that chance," said Miguel.

Those teens age 13 through 16 years old are still in the hospital with possible charges pending. Christian’s family has temporarily closed their restaurant while they grieve the loss of their son.

"He had a lot of friends. So many people he met. Many people along the way," said Dawn. "We just want that Christian is always remembered whether it’s tomorrow or next year or 10 years from now."

The Romero’s have been overwhelmed the generosity and support from the community. They say they can’t put into words what it has meant to them.

A GoFundMe started by members of the community hopes to raise enough money to pay the Romero’s business expenses while they remain closed to give them a chance to grieve.

The community plans to hold a vigil in Christian’s honor Thursday night at 6 across from the restaurant on Flagler Beach.