"They've grown up on our baseball fields and our community," Southwest Little League Baseball president Shawn Lewis said of Christian Bono, Matthew Bono, and Nehemiah Turban at their funeral on the baseball diamond

By Joelle Goldstein
August 17, 2020 12:20 PM
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Christian and Matthew Bono and Nehemiah Turban (center)
GoFundMe

Three teens who tragically died in a Florida car crash were recently mourned at a joint funeral — held at the very place they spent so much time together, playing the sport they loved.

Christian Bono, Matthew Bono, and Nehemiah "Nemo" Turban were honored in an emotional memorial on the baseball diamond Saturday at Southwest Little League Baseball Field in Whispering Pines Park, according to the TC Palm.

Hundreds of family members, friends, coaches, and teammates — many of whom sat in the dugout wearing their uniforms — gathered together under a tent to remember Christian, 16, Matthew, 15, and Turban, 16, and say their final goodbyes.

The emotional ceremony began with the hearses parking in the outfield of the baseball field before the teens' caskets were carried to home plate as "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth played on the field's speakers, the TC Palm reported.

Later, nine of the boys' coaches delivered touching tributes. Though the trio played on different high school teams — the Bonos at St. Lucie West Centennial High School while Turban played at Treasure Coast High School — they had been involved with Little League since they were seven and played on a travel team together, according to the outlet.

"It's obvious all three of these boys have touched our hearts in many ways," Shawn Lewis, the president of Southwest Little League Baseball, said during the ceremony. "We've had the pleasure of watching children pass through these dugout gates and play the game they love so much. Christian, Matthew and Nemo are no exception to that. They've grown up on our baseball fields and our community."

Coach Chris DeMayo remembered Turban as a "very humble boy" who "thought of others before he thought of himself," while Coach Anthony Morrison said of the brothers, "you could see the love they had for each other."

"Matthew was fearless. He was our go-to guy. He was never scared to set foot on that mound," Morrison added, according to the TC Palm.

The funeral came exactly two weeks after the teens were involved in the fatal, single-vehicle crash that occurred near Southwest California Boulevard and Southwest Heatherwood Boulevard, Port St. Lucie Police said in a press release.

A preliminary investigation by authorities revealed Christian was driving a 2003 Toyota Camry around 10:30 p.m. local time — with Turban in the front passenger seat and Matthew in the back seat — when he went "too fast to negotiate a slight right-hand curve" and struck a large cement power pole.

Christian and Turban were pronounced dead on the scene, while Matthew, was transported to a local hospital with severe injuries but died just four days later, according to police.

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In the wake of the tragedy, a GoFundMe page was set up for the boys' families to assist with funeral expenses, medical bills, and other costs. It has since raised over $77,000.

Following the funeral on Saturday, the page's organizer, Stephanie Trumble, released an update and wrote, "I wish I had the right words for today. It was heartbreaking ... one of the worst things I've had to be a part of in my life so far, but it was amazing. It was beautiful and so full of love, memories and even a little bit of laughter."

"This community came together in a way I never imagined. I can't thank everyone enough for all they've done," Trumble continued. "We were able to say goodbye to these amazing boys in the perfect way and in the perfect place, Southwest Little League, where it all began."

"These boys are so loved and touched so many lives...more than they probably realize," Trumble added. "They will be missed beyond measure. ❤"