By: Jen Russon
Not long after his 27th birthday, Lachtowiz Fernando Frazier, a beloved resident of Tamarac, died in his car paces away from where he usually parked near his home in the Golf Villas apartment complex.
He leaves behind a confused and shattered community, as friends and family members try and make sense of what went wrong.
There were no witnesses when Frazier’s car crashed and sank into a canal, sometime between midnight and 6:38 a.m. in the wee hours of Thursday, February 27.
By 8:20 a.m. that day, the Broward Sheriff’s Office dive team pulled Frazier’s Honda Civic out of the water. The trunk of the vehicle was open, visible over the murky canal line. Frazier’s body was discovered dead in the driver seat.
It remains unclear until a scheduled autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s Office what caused the young man to lose control of his vehicle.
Police say the sedan smashed through a metal guardrail and a small tree before entering the canal, located near the 5900 block of Northwest 46th Avenue.
Frazier’s father told CBS Miami his son’s accident makes no sense to him, and that if Frazier had been too exhausted to drive he would have pulled over.
The timing of the accident might have coincided with Frazier leaving his job at Racetrac gas station where he allegedly clerked. He also worked as an Uber driver and was a student at Broward College.
Juggling work and school, Frazier was majoring in education and hoped to one day become a Spanish teacher; these details were taken from Frazier’s about page on Facebook and could not be confirmed when Coral Springs Talk reached out to his brother, Devante Lankford.
What could be confirmed, however, is how much Frazier’s loss affected the community.
“He had the biggest smile and sweetest heart,” wrote a friend named Anne Marie on Frazier’s GoFundMe.
The fundraiser was created within a day of Frazier’s passing and currently sits at nearly $7,000. The comment thread is bittersweet, as friends remember giving Frazier the nickname of “Nando” and being fellow panthers with him at Coral Springs Charter School.
Life-long friends who graduated from CSCS with Frazier in 2011, took to Facebook to express their sorrow over his death.
“My heart is broken, losing one of my realest friends around. RIP Frazier, you will be missed by not only me but everyone you touched in this life. My heart is full of so many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. I LOVE YOU, BRO,” former classmate Joe Anderson wrote.
Anderson also encouraged everyone who loved Nando to donate toward his funeral costs and help a family who must be reeling over his very unexpected death.
A hardworking young man who began working at McDonald’s as a teen, Frazier was known for espousing positive affirmations and took nothing for granted. He worshiped at the Faith Center in Sunrise, and was known for staunchly believing the old saying, ‘you never know what you can do until you try.’
In his own words, Frazier believed this to be “mad true”.
Fraizer appeared to understand the uncertainty and gift of human life in his social media post on January 29, a day after his birthday.
“I appreciate all the wishes I thank God to see another year and be with family and friends bless up and healthy year to all financially spiritually and faithfully,” he wrote.
Nando’s friends honored his tried and true philosophy at a candlelit vigil in Mullins Park this week.
Donations can be made online at the family’s GoFundMe page.