The parents of Michael A. Agana, the student who died after driving through the Bayshore Boulevard balustrade in May, say they were shocked to hear that their son had taken LSD before the crash and was using drugs.
"We've lost the joy, the smiles and the absolute delight of a life lived so passionately, so fully, so enthusiastically and yet so humbly," said Alvin and Jennifer Agana.
"As parents, we are still screaming with agony inside. … Let our cry serve as an alert to you. … Since the accident occurred, we learned that our son – our rising star – was experimenting with designer drugs. If you knew Michael at all, then we know you share our shock and exasperation at this news."
Michael, 19, of Tampa, a student at the University of South Florida, drove through the concrete balustrade and into Hillsborough Bay on May 11. An autopsy report showed Agana had a traumatic injury to his brainstem due to blunt impact on his head and neck.
He died on May 15.
On Tuesday, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiners Office said that he had taken LSD within six hours of the crash.
The Aganas, through a letter released to the media, said they never saw any indication that their son was involved with drugs. The family said he was a good student and involved in church and sports.
"There were no warning signs, and we have not yet figured out if there was a chance we could have somehow helped curb the curiosity and destructive behavior of our son."
"But if we know anything now, it's that reality is harsh. Reality will take away a young life, and reality will tempt and conquer the better judgment of a well-raised, respectable child," the Aganas said.
The parents added that they are working with authorities for a way to prevent others from falling victim to the same influences that their son did.
Hundreds who knew Agana gathered May 14 for a candlelight vigil at the crash site. Many were from Plant High School, where Agana, who graduated in 2011, was on the marching band's drum line. Others were from USF, where Agana was an engineering major and a Phi Delta Theta fraternity member.