Miami Heat Dancer, Nancy Lopez-Ruiz, Killed in Motorcyle Accident

Adam HirshfieldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2010

Courtesy of the Miami Heat
Courtesy of the Miami Heat

Nancy G. Lopez-Ruiz, 22, who recently earned a spot on the Miami Heat dance team, was killed Friday night in Fort Lauderdale when the motorcycle she was riding was struck from behind by a car.

According to police, the accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. when Mario Careaga of Fort Lauderdale, driving his 2009 Mercedes-Benz, struck the median as North Federal Highway split and then struck the 2003 Suzuki, knocking Lopez-Ruiz off her bike. Police are awaiting toxicology reports on Careaga and said they were continuing to investigate the accident.

Lopez-Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. According to reports, it remains unclear as to whether or not she was wearing a helmet.

The new Heat dancer was reportedly driving to her home in Plantation from a dance team practice when she was struck.

Eric Woolworth, the Heat's president of business operations, said the team was "shocked and saddened" to learn of Lopez-Ruiz's death.

"Nancy was a lovely young woman with an upbeat personality. Her fierce passion for dancing was contagious," Woolworth said in a statement. "We wish to extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends and teammates."

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 . . ''