A teenager who was hit and killed by a boat on Lake Palestine last Sunday was honored Thursday night. Funeral services for Roberto Hernandez were held at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Tyler.
Friends and family had no idea a day on the lake would turn deadly for the 14-year old boy.
“I was in shock, because how can a 14-year old pass away so young, because he was such an amazing person,” explained Elideth Sanchez, a close friend of Hernandez.
Jose Sanchez: “He was actually a really good person, he would always smile, he would always bring people up,” says Jose Sanchez, Elideth’s brother and also a close friend of Hernandez.
These siblings were among many, grieving and sitting close together as Bishop Joseph Strickland presided over the funeral inside the Catholic Church.
Bishop Strickland: “A beautiful 14-year old young man who was taken so instantaneously, so tragically, it just reminds us how precious life is.”
Right before the ceremony, everyone gathered outside. Releasing balloons into the air, representing how each person is letting Roberto go into the hands of God.
“We used to do everything together ever since we were little kids, growing up, it was just good times always,” says Kain Aguilar, a childhood friend of Hernandez.
A group of four friends has known Hernandez all their lives.
“He was always so happy, he always had a smile on his face, he’s just in a better place and I miss him too much,” describes Hernandez’s sister, Alexa Bermejo.
During the ceremony, everyone was wearing a special token. Wearing small hats pinned to their shirts to show Hernandez, everyone remembers his love for cowboys.
The rodeo wasn’t his only passion. He was also a soccer player and a devoted older brother.
“What I remember is how much he cared for his little sister, his 3-year old sister. Anytime he was asked to take care of her he would without hesitation,” says Jonathan Charles, another childhood friend.
His love was so deep, family says he gave his own life to save his 3-year old sister from the same boat that hit and killed him.
“He’s in a better place now,” is a phrase many said as they talked about their friend now gone. However, for many, this isn’t good-bye but see you later Roberto.