Jason Ramos, of 1735 Townsend Avenue, was on his way to Florida when sudden car trouble forced him to pull onto the shoulder along I-95, just five miles from Timmonsville, South Carolina.
Soon there after, a Kileen, Texas man fell asleep at the wheel, causing his 2002 Ford F250 truck to drift off the roadway and strike Ramos’ 1998 Acura.
According to a South Carolina Highway Patrol accident report, the 27 year-old died on the scene as a result of injuries he suffered in the crash.
“Unfortunately things like this happen, especially on a long, road like that,” South Carolina highway patrol Lance Cpl. Bob Beres said.
Hours later, Ramos’ cousin and uncle, who were anxiously awaiting his arrival in Florida, received the alarming news.
The shock came just hours after Ramos phoned his cousin to alert him of his delay. After not receiving a return call, his cousin assumed the problem was rectified. It was only after notice from the South Carolina patrol in the afternoon of May 13 that he learned of his cousin’s devastating fate.
Friends now believe Ramos must have fallen asleep while waiting for help, and was blindsided by the approaching vehicle.
Born and raised in the Bronx, the painful news of Ramos’ death quickly made its way up north.
“Everybody was heartbroken,” said Jorge, a childhood friend and neighbor who declined to give his last name. “The whole neighborhood was flooded with people crying.”
Jorge recalled first meeting Ramos 12 years ago in front of their building on Townsend Avenue. Over the years, the pair developed a close friendship and created memories Jorge said he’d never forget.
“We always used to go paint balling,” Jorge explained of their coveted trips up north with 50 or so friends. “He was always the best at it.”
Those close to him described the previous Roosevelt High School student as “the life of the party,” a free soul who loved to travel and found humor everywhere he went.
“He was really funny,” Jorge exclaimed. “He was trying to be a comedian.”
Since high school, Ramos worked a number of different jobs, always trying to find his nitch. He recently quit his position at Banana Republic to make the move south in hopes of discovering his dreams of becoming a standup comic.
Unfortunately, his trip to Florida cost him his life.
Beres said such accidents are more common than people would believe. “Don’t put yourself in the emergency lane unless you absolutely have to,” he suggested.
More than 300 people gathered to mourn Ramos’ death at a visitation and funeral on May 16.