MANATEE — Bradenton’s Adela Lopez went to the Prime Outlet Mall in Ellenton Sunday to buy a dress for her daughter, Nancy G. Lopez-Ruiz.
She picked what she felt Nancy would like, white organza, long and flowing, with a jacket. It cost $150 at BCBG Max Azria.
“At the register, the lady said, ‘All sales are final,’” said Nancy’s older sister, Marjorie Lacy, who helped her mother pick out the dress. “I got teary when she said it. This is the last garment Nancy will ever wear.”
Nancy Lopez-Ruiz, who just turned 22 on June 6, and who graduated from Bayshore High School, was killed Friday night in Fort Lauderdale when her motorcycle was struck from behind by a motorist.
She was coming home from practice with the NBA’s Miami Heat, who had just hired her for the dance team.
The accident occurred at around 9:30 p.m. as Lopez-Ruiz, who lived in Plantation, was riding her 2003 Suzuki GSX R in the westbound right-hand lane of in the 700 block of East Sunrise Boulevard.
Police said Mario Careaga of Fort Lauderdale had been driving his 2009 Mercedes-Benz behind Lopez-Ruiz on the boulevard. At some point, the Mercedes struck the median at the lane split and curve of North Federal Highway, then struck the motorcycle, knocking the dancer off her bike.
Lopez-Ruiz was pronounced dead on at the scene. It's unclear if she was wearing a helmet.
Blood samples were taken from Carega. Police are waiting toxicology reports. Police said they were continuing to investigate the accident.
On Sunday, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade sent this from his official Twitter account: "RIP 2 Heat dancer Nancy Lopez-Ruiz. 22 yrs old . . Everyone pray for her family as they go through this hard time . ."
Miami Herald Staff Writers Michael Wallace and Diana Moskovitz contributed to this report.