Tzvi Yecheskel Ference z”l, on a suicide mission gets Killed in Wrong-Way Florida Crash
Just three days after writing on his social media account that he was depressed and determined to take his life by driving the wrong way and crashing headlong into a truck on the Florida Turnpike, Tzvi Yeheskel Ference apparently did just that.
The 26-year-old was killed when the car he was driving north in the southbound lanes of the highway collided with a tractor-trailer south of Griffin Road shortly before midnight Sunday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Ference was declared dead at the scene,
The driver of the truck and his passenger were not injured.
According to a Facebook posting on Friday, Ference, of Miami Beach, said he nearly carried out his plan for a public suicide Wednesday night but stopped when "I was overcome with such emotion that I started crying."
Ference pulled over near the entrance to the Turnpike, he wrote, "and cried non-stop for over 10 minutes."
But nothing stopped him about 11:40 p.m. Sunday.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Ference was driving a 2009 Hyundai Accent northbound in the southbound lanes of the turnpike when it hit the tractor-trailer being driven by Yadian Palomino-Leyva, 30, of Miami. Asleep in the back of the cab was passenger Leany Cervantes-Rodrigurez, 26, FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky said.
Ference's Hyundai overturned and came to rest on its roof while the tractor-trailer jackknifed and hit a guardrail on the turnpike's west shoulder.
Ference, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Wysocky.
Where Ference got on the road and how long he was driving the wrong way are still being investigated, Wysocky said.
Ference recently had written about his years-long battle with depression on Facebook and Tumblr.
"I have major depression and have attempted suicide in the past," Ference wrote in a Facebook post Friday. "Sometimes life gets so overwhelming that I just want to quit."
Bracha Ference, 22, said her brother had been battling depression and had been on various medications and in therapy since the age of 16. "He definitely had been going through his ups and downs," said Bracha Ference.
Bracha Ference, who lives in New Jersey, said she received the news of her brother's death early Monday in a phone call from her mother, Tamar Ference, an assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.