BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – The family members of two recent high school grads from Bradenton who were killed in Peru last month are looking for the good Samaritan who helped the boys in their last moments of life.
Albert Ales and Zach Morris recently graduated from Southeast High School. Ales was preparing to go to the University of Central Florida while Morris was planning to attend Yale. To celebrate, the pair went to Peru.
“Our boys were so excited for this trip to Peru. They wanted to hike to Machu Picchu, they wanted to see the Inca Ruins and the Rainbow Mountain,” Zach’s father, Kevin Morris, said. “They were so excited about going and exploring new cultures.”
The teens were only in the country for three hours when they were hit and killed by a bus.
During a news conference Thursday morning, Morris asked for the community’s help in finding a man who helped his son and Ales who helped the boys after they were hit.
“In the short minutes right after the boys’ accident, a Canadian or European doctor who we believe was in Peru on vacation stopped and attended to the boys,” Morris said. “We were told he offered comforting words and he tried to keep the boys still. We believe he spoke French and English fluently.”
The families explained they do not know the doctor’s name but they do have a photo of the man.
“The families would like to thank this good Samaritan for his kindness, but also to ask if the boys were able to speak and may have had any last words that they could share with us,” Morris said.
The families have set up an email address and are asking anyone who may recognize the doctor to send them information. The email address is GoodSamaritanDr19@gmail.com.
The Morris’ and Ales’ also are trying to find anyone who was on the bus involved in the crash that killed their sons, or any witnesses to the crash.
“We believe the bus was carrying up to 12 passengers. The police did not record the names of any of those potential witnesses,” Morris said. “We have statements the bus driver was speeding and passing in a no-passing zone before the accident.”
He says the only testimony given so far is from the bus driver and his father, the ticket-taker on the bus. The families say that testimony is not consistent with the facts.
During the news conference, the families also thanked the people of Peru for their kindness and generosity in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“Our boys’ lives were taken by the reckless, negligent and, we believe, criminal act of one person. Not an entire country,” Morris said. “Our boys would not want you to hate Peru because of what happened to them. They would want you to keep an open mind and to visit it one day for yourself.”
Since the tragic deaths of Zach and Albert, the community has set up a scholarship fund in their memory. The fund will help two students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program each year at Southeast High School.
“Not only is it a great loss for us, it’s a great loss to our country. These young men they exemplified the best in what our school can produce and what our state can produce. They were the best,” said Richard Platt, engineering teacher.
Zack and Albert were known to give back to their community, using their talents and skills even to provide toys to children around the world.
“They picked up the phone one day and called Google and got one of the top vice presidents at Google and they wrote us a check for $16,000 dollars,” said Platt.
A joint celebration of life service for both Ales and Morris will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. at the Woodland Community Church located at 9607 East State Road 70 in Bradenton. The public is welcome to attend.
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