Three days after star Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández was killed in a boating crash with two friends, Carla Mendoza, his ex-girlfriend who dated him for about three years, spoke out.
The former member of the Marlins Energy Team dance and cheerleading squad took to Instagram to share about her unbearable heartbreak and offer some support to Fernández’s current girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child.
“The heartbreak is unbearable. There was so much more to him than anyone could even begin to understand,” she wrote in the post with an undated image of her with Fernández. “I'm fortunate enough to have loved and be loved by José, and his family, for over 3 crazy, beautiful years.”
She continued: “Nothing will make this time easy for anyone, and if you do one thing today, let it be that you tell those close to you how much you love them. Not one day will pass by that I don't think about him or love him.”
Mendoza said her heart goes out to Fernández’s girlfriend, Maria Arias.
“Please honor José's memory by respecting his daughter and her mother, as I'm sure this is all too painful for her as well,” she asked of readers.
Fernández, 24, died with friends Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias in a boating accident in Government Cut, the channel that separates Miami Beach from Fischer Island. The bodies of the three men were recovered early Sunday morning in the area around the jetty rocks where the boat was found.
Just a week ago, the star pitcher posted a photo on Instagram of Arias, announcing that they were starting a family.
“I'm so glad you came into my life. I'm ready for where this journey is gonna take us together,” he wrote.
According to a friend of Rivero, the superstar and Arias had a fight before the accident.
A funeral motorcade on Wednesday afternoon is honoring the pitcher. After which a public viewing is being held at St. Brendan's Catholic Church from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. A private funeral Mass will be held on Thursday with family and Marlins players and personnel in attendance.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking a probe to look into the safety of the rock jetty where the boat crashed.
The Florida Republican sent a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers asking for a review of the century-old jetty and whether it poses a chronic danger to boaters. The jetty, which extends out from Miami's port, is difficult to see at night, especially at high tide, Rubio said.
"While our hearts are heavy with grief for the numerous lives lost every year on the water, we can do more to save others," Rubio wrote. "As a boater myself, I have experienced firsthand the challenges this particular jetty can present to others trying to navigate around it."
Investigators have said no evidence of alcohol or drug use was found at the scene, but the medical examiner's toxicology reports are pending. A Miami River bar and restaurant has confirmed that Fernández was there before the crash, but it is unclear if he was drinking.
Instead of flowers, the Fernández family has asked for charitable contributions to the JDF16 Foundation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.