LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) — 20-year-old Michael Hoerig had dreams of being Mr. Olympian. His dreams were cut short in Oct. 2022 when he was hit by a teenage driver believed to be traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour, leaving him brain-dead. Hoerig died days later.
“Every day I wake up thinking he’s still going to be here,” said Gina Hoerig, Michael’s mom.
“I feel like he had this bucket list and something in him told him he was going to go home to be with the lord and he needed to complete his bucket list,” she added.
The then-16-year-old driver is being charged as an adult with vehicular homicide and unlawful racing. 8 On Your Side is not reporting the driver’s name due to his age. He is currently out of jail on bond with restrictions, including an ankle bracelet monitor and restrictions on where he can travel. The driver has an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday at Hillsborough County Circut Court.
The suspect’s attorney says the accident was not drug or alcohol related. In a statement to 8 On Your Side, Attorney Anthony B. Rickman said:
“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Michael Hoerig. [He] and his family are devastated over the tragic loss of life that was a result of this accident.”Anthony B. Rickman
“I can never get Michael back,” Gina added. “I think it’s fair that he pays for the poor choices that he’s made. My prayer is that once he’s paid that price, that he’ll do something good with his life.”