DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Thousands of people poured into the streets of Sosua in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday to attend the funeral of their fallen baseball hero. Several MLB players including members of the St. Louis Cardinals were in attendance at the cemetery in the costal city to pay their respects to Oscar Taveras.

Emotions were high and those in attendance had trouble letting go of the Cardinals outfielder. Mourners clutched photos, wept, and even fainted as the coffin made its way to the cemetery. Among those in attendance, were St. Louis Cardinals general manager, John Mozeliak, head coach Mike Matheny, second baseman Matt Carpenter and pitcher Carlos Martinez.

“He was my brother, he was my friend, we were always together anytime we went out,” said Martinez.

Taveras was killed when he lost control of his 2014 Chevy Camaro in the rain on Sunday evening. The car spun out of control and struck a tree where it is believed both Taveras and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, were killed on impact.

The cause of the crash and whether alcohol was involved is still under investigation, but earlier this year the World Health Organization announced that the Dominican Republic is the deadliest place to travel by road as the country had 41.7 deaths by per 100,000 people by road.

Oscar’s father, Francisco Taveras, spoke to the crowd at the funeral and thanked everyone for coming as he fought back tears.

“I’m extremely devastated about what has happened,” Francisco told the crowd. “I urge young people to wear their seatbelts and to learn from what happened to my son.”

The St. Louis Cardinals paid a fantastic tribute to Taveras on Tuesday night as they left a single strand of lights on in right field at the new Busch Stadium where Taveras played to honor their teammate.

 

Oscar Taveras Funeral
Family and friends of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras carry his coffin during his funeral in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province, October 28, 2014. Taveras, 22, was killed Sunday night along with Yamaly Arvelo, 18, while driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro on the tourist road Sosua-Puerto Plata on the north coast of Dominican Republic, police said. St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Monday called the death of Oscar Taveras, a top prospect killed in a car accident, "a horrible loss of a life." REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
Oscar Taveras Funeral
Baseball player Alfredo Simon (C) of the Cincinnati Reds attends the funeral of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras along with Taveras' family and friends, in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province, October 28, 2014. Taveras, 22, was killed Sunday night along with Yamaly Arvelo, 18, while driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro on the tourist road Sosua-Puerto Plata on the north coast of Dominican Republic, police said. St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Monday called the death of Oscar Taveras, a top prospect killed in a car accident, "a horrible loss of a life." REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
Oscar Taveras Funeral
Family and friends of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras carry his coffin during his funeral in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province, October 28, 2014. Taveras, 22, was killed Sunday night along with Yamaly Arvelo, 18, while driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro on the tourist road Sosua-Puerto Plata on the north coast of Dominican Republic, police said. St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Monday called the death of Oscar Taveras, a top prospect killed in a car accident, "a horrible loss of a life." REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
Oscar Taveras Funeral
A relative of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras is helped as she mourns his death during his funeral in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
Oscar Taveras Funeral
Family and friends of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras attend his funeral in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province, October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
Oscar Taveras Funeral
amily and friends of St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Oscar Taveras accompany his coffin during his funeral in the town of Sosua, Puerto Plata province, October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas