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Student killed in I-75 wreck

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Tatyana Phelps, Managing Editor

Friends on campus are mourning Geraldo Vargas, who they remember as a smart, hard-working, funny and straight-A student.

The 22-year-old VSU criminal justice major was killed in a car accident early Sunday morning on I-75. According to the Valdosta Daily Times, Vargas was driving southbound when he struck an unoccupied disabled vehicle in the west emergency lane, traveled west into the middle lane of the interstate, and was struck by a semi-tractor trailer on the passenger side of his vehicle.

Vargas was taken to South Georgia Medical Center for his injuries, where he was pronounced dead.

Luis Jimenez, a close friend of Vargas, will remember Vargas’ humor and the dreams he had after graduating from college.

“(He was) hilarious and always knew how to make everyone laugh,” Jimenez, junior criminal justice major, said. “He wanted to join the military and become a lawyer.”

Vargas graduated from ABAC with an associate’s degree, and was only in his first semester at VSU. However, in his few months at VSU, he already touched the lives of many with his personality and sense of humor.

“Geraldo was that person everyone wanted to talk to,” Michelle Garcia, freshman VSU student, said. “He was the funny guy who made everyone smirk in the classroom. I think that’s probably why (people) fell in love with him. Nobody ever made me laugh like he did. He had a way of saying funny phrases that were so catchy that you’d catch yourself saying them.”

Garcia also adds the love that Vargas had for his truck and sports.

“There wasn’t anything he was more proud of than his SRT 10,” Garcia said. “But he was a hard worker and dependable. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t ask him to do and he wouldn’t. He knew his sports too; boxing, UFC, volleyball, and his favorite was basketball,” Garcia said.

Vargas’ girlfriend, VSU student Susy Martinez, believed that Vargas impacted all the lives he entered, especially hers.

“(He was) a man who knew exactly what he wanted and was determined to accomplish his goals,” Martinez said. “(He was) a loving man who did nothing but fill lives with love, joy, smiles and all the happiness in the world. A man who was satisfied with what he had, but always tried to go for more if it was possible. Geraldo, the man who loved me the most and did everything in his power to prove his love to me. The man I started to love, but was taken from me. He will always have a special place in my heart.”

Friends are welcomed to visit the funeral home on Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services for Vargas will be held at 3 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the chapel of Albritton Funeral Directors in Tifton, Georgia.


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