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Family struggling with loss of teen wants permanent memorial at crash site

Posted at 6:28 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 18:28:37-05

Vonte Mora's loved ones are trying to cope with the reality that the 19-year-old was killed in a crash on Saturday night on Cypress Lake Drive. They want to put in a permanent memorial at the site he took his last breath, but county policy doesn't allow it.

Mora's mom, Lourdes Privett, found a video of him Tuesday night with a chilling message to his future self.

"Don't get stuck in that routine that a lot of people get stuck in," Mora said in the video. "The day-to-day work, the 40 hours a week, whatever it is. Just learn to enjoy your life, because you won't have it one day."

"I was meant to find it," Privett said.

Mora's girlfriend Lauren Johnson said he was on his way to pick her up for a holiday party Saturday night. When he didn't show up and didn't answer her calls, she pinged his phone. It said he was outside of Cypress Lake Middle School. Johnson said she drove over there, and that's when she saw the scene of the crash. She said troopers told her to go to Healthpark Hospital.

"Finally they just told me he didn't make it," Johnson said.

Florida Highway Patrol says Mora was going down Cypress Lake Drive when a car pulled into his path. He was ejected from his motorcycle and into the path of another car.

There's a growing makeshift memorial at the site of the crash, but his loved ones want something more permanent where Mora took his last breath. His mom is thinking a flat, marble headstone that could be flushed into the sidewalk.

A Lee County spokesperson says "Any item placed in Lee County right of way along a road would need a permit from the Lee County Department of Transportation. The county does not issue permits for roadside memorials. This is for an array of reasons, including safety and maintenance issues.

Mora's family is planning a memorial service for Saturday, December 16th at Saint Cecelia's. They're also working on setting up a scholarship fund in Mora's name for personal trainers to get certified, because personal training was one of Mora's passions. For more information, click here.