Brother mourns loss of Port St. Lucie pizza shop owner
It was a deadly weekend on the roads in Port St. Lucie resulting in three people dead in separate crashes.
Among the victims was a beloved pizza shop owner.
Inside Alfonso's Pizza and Pasta in Port St. Lucie on Monday, Domenic Balzano prepared for the lunch rush with a heavy heart.
His younger brother, Armando Balzano, died late Friday night in a motorcycle crash.
"[He was the] best little brother you could have," Domenic Balzano said.
The brothers were separated in age by 5 years, but still very close.
"We were outside every day after school," Domenic Balzano said. "He was coming along. He was my third leg."
Armando Balzano, 38, was heading east on Port St. Lucie Boulevard when he struck a Ford Explorer that was turning west onto the boulevard from Southwest Aster Road.
Police said the driver of the vehicle was not hurt as their investigation into the crash continues.
"He was an all-around, good-hearted person," Domenic Balzano said. "Competitive, witty, life of the party."
There are flowers and crosses set up Monday at the intersection where there was also a homemade sign suggesting no left turns here and to watch for bikes.
There are also flowers and pictures left outside Fratelli's Pizzeria, not far from the crash site, and another Balzano family establishment.
"Fratelli's means 'brothers' in Italian, so me and him opened that up together," Domenic Balzano said.
But while pizza has been part of the family for decades, Domenic said his younger brother was looking at making a change since he was growing tired of the long hours.
"He liked fishing," Domenic Balzano said. "One of his buddies chartered boats, and he wanted to be his right-hand man."
As for being on his motorcycle that fateful night, Domenic said Armando had gotten rid of one a long time ago, but his passion for them was too great, and he bought another one a few years ago.
"He usually doesn't take the bike at night, but that night he said, 'Oh, it's good weather, let me just take it,'" Domenic Balzano said.
Friends and family will gather Wednesday at 8 p.m. outside Fratelli's pizza shop to remember their loved one.
The driver of the Ford Explorer was not hurt in the wreck.
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