18 Year old Hobokenite killed in Alabama

rubiel-mercado-photo.jpgThis happened last Friday, October 6th, but I figured some of you might want to know.

18 year old Hoboken resident Rubiel Mercado, died in an auto accident Dothan, Alabama early Friday morning October 6th. He just started at Wallace Community College, and appeared to have a bright future as a baseball player.

rubiel-mercado-pitching.jpgHe was previously a star pitcher for the Hudson Catholic Regional High School in Jersey City. He crashed his SUV, and was thrown out of the vehicle due to not wearing his seatbelt.

It’s a tragedy when a young person with a good chance to live a positive and fruitful life perishes like this. Hopefully his family will remember the good things and move forward. This is also a very good reminder to always wear your seatbelts.

Here’s a writeup from the Dothan Website:

Wallace baseball player dies in wreck

When Evelyn Mercado dropped her youngest child off at Wallace Community College a few months ago she couldn’t bear to leave him. It took her three or four times to finally let go, Wallace baseball coach Mackey Sasser said. If she had known it was the last time she would have seen her son she may not have let go of him at all.

Rubiel Mercado, 18, of Hoboken, N.J., died early Friday after a single vehicle wreck just feet from where he lived with his Wallace teammates, Dothan Police Sgt. Tim Ward said.

Mercado, who had recently gotten his driver’s license, lost control on Midland-Michigan Road, a small dirt road that runs parallel to Napier Field Road and leads to Governor’s Square Apartments where the college baseball players live. Ward said it appears that speed was a factor. He said Mercado lost control of the sport utility vehicle, hit an embankment making the vehicle go airborne and started flipping. Mercado, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the vehicle, landing about 30 feet in front of where the SUV came to rest, Ward said.

Sasser said Mercado’s teammates, who heard and saw the wreck and were the ones to call the police, were traumatized by what happened. Ward said the students appeared to be shocked and didn’t seem to know what to do after Mercado had been taken Flowers Hospital.

“We are all really, really upset,” Sasser said of himself and the team. “It is a real bad situation and unfortunate accident. It is something we can’t explain, and is really unfortunate for our team right now.”

Mercado, who Sasser described as one of the best athlete’s he’s seen in his 10 years as a college coach, was at Wallace on a baseball scholarship and played both as a pitcher and third basemen. He was majoring in criminal justice.

Andrew Starr, sophomore first basemen for Wallace, said Mercado was a great guy and brought a lot to the team.

“He had a great personality and was real funny and outgoing,” he said. “I always joked with him that he should be a model because he had such pretty eyes.”

Sasser said the team plans on doing something to honor Mercado during the spring season that starts in February. The team had already played in a number of pre-season games and has games scheduled for next week.

The school will provide counseling for any students who feel they need it.

“We are doing everything we can to help his family,” Sasser said. “His family aren’t wealthy people and can’t afford to come down here. We have made arrangements for him to be taken back to New Jersey and plan on setting up a foundation to help his family out. I just hope we can get through all this as a team and move forward.”

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