Tulare cousins were remembered Friday. Casey Bernardo a 22-year-old and 16-year-old Giovanni Ramirez were both killed in a tragic car crash September 27.
They played football for Tulare Western High School.
“We were quite proud of him no matter what he did,” Clara Bernardo, Casey’s mother said.
The pair were honored with a moment of silence before the game.
“He wanted to make sure we were here for all his games and we were. We loved hearing his name get called out ‘Casey Bernardo ball carrier,’ yeah that was my favorite,” Lucio Bernardo Casey’s father said.
When his name was called during the remembrance ceremony it was a much different feeling.
“I can’t say I gave it much though if it’s the last time I’m going to hear his name on the field, It’s going to feel different,” his parents said.
According to the CHP the pair died when they were driving north on Seventh Avenue just south of Grangeville Boulevard and did not stop at the intersection. A big rig collided with the car, killing both onscene.
Casey’s parents said he was heading to work at a dairy farm, and Giovanni was going to spend time with him.
“I wish I could share more memories with him,” Kaysyn Bernardo, Casey’s sister said.
Lucy Kroon, Giovanni’s mother, said he wanted to join the military and had a great sense of humor. “He’s funny, he’s a hard head, but he’s a funny kid,” she said.
Clara Bernardo said her son was a hero to others, helping the underdog and sticking up for them. She said he loved to coach, wanted to be a firefighter and was a great brother with an amazing laugh. “His smile. His smile’s my most favorite thing about him,” she said.
Their parents said the cousins were inseparable and there’s comfort knowing they still are.
“They went together. We couldn’t separate them and now we really can’t. These boys loved each other and there’s a peace in knowing that they’re still together,” Clara said.