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Tragedy strikes Palm Beach County couple headed to total solar eclipse

Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 18:42:34-04

Sean O'Connor had a love of adventure.  You might even remember him in a video from July of last year, where a shark tries to grab a fish from him while he was spearfishing in South Florida. 



His family and friends said he lived life to the fullest, so when he announced he was taking a road trip to see the total solar eclipse, they weren't surprised.

He and his girlfriend, Caro Cruz, often took to the road, documenting their RV life. Thousands of people follow their Road Warrior adventures on social media.

"Ever since they started traveling, we didn't go with them, but it was like we traveled with them," said Evan Orellana, Sean's friend. 

North Carolina Highway Patrol said a driver, who didn't slow down, hit Sean's scooter from behind. He was ejected and killed on the scene.  According to troopers, Carolina Cruz was on the back of the scooter, pushed across the road and was injured and taken to the hospital. Sean's family says she is recovering and was the "love of his life."

"I was jealous, we were all jealous," said Orellana. "I wanted to travel up there, I wanted to see the complete eclipse, and he was just following his dreams.  If Sean wanted to do something, he did it."

Sean's family said he "has touched and affected so many people's lives through his positivity, wisdom, infectious positive attitude and smile.  Full of the Dickens look and belly laugh, his special soul, his huge heart, his wisdom beyond his years..."

Sean's family has asked that anyone who is so inclined to make donations to the Sandoway Discovery Center in Delray Beach in lieu of flowers. Sean volunteered there when he was younger and it represents his love of the ocean.

Sean's mother said once Caro returns to South Florida, they plan to have a paddle out at the south end of Delray Beach.  It was his favorite spot.

A memorial service and celebration of Sean's life is set for August 31 at 4 p.m. at the Glick funeral home on 3600 North Federal Highway in Boca Raton.