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'He's everlasting': Family honors Brandon man killed in Polk County crash

Polk County Deputies say the 22-year-old and a passenger hit barriers by construction on Old Grade Road, just north of I-4 one week ago.

TAMPA, Fla. — A Brandon family is in mourning after the tragic loss of their loving son and brother.

Aryan "Yanny" Afdjinia was killed at just 22 years old one week ago. His family saw him for the last time Wednesday hours before they held a service to honor his life at Velvet Gypsy. 

"Last Wednesday, he got into the accident and he took his last breath," Maria Afdjinia, his older sister, said in an exclusive interview with 10 Tampa Bay's Angelina Salcedo. 

The crash happened just after 9 p.m. on Old Grade Road just North of I-4 in Polk County.

"It was a rainy night. Honestly an accident," Afdjinia said. "You hydroplane or you hit the piling on the right and your car just needs a little bit of motion and it propels and it's gone."

Polk County Deputies say he and a 20-year-old passenger hit barriers by construction. Yanny was thrown from his Chevy.

"If you don't have your seat belt on, it's gonna happen," Afdjinia said. "But the way I see it with my brother, he had no idea what was about to happen to him. That gives me peace because it's an accident."

Maria and her family are taking every day in stride. Her baby brother was the youngest of three siblings.

"My brother's a light in this world," Afdjinia said. "He was so much so that even through all of this rain, there's still sun, and it's him. That's how I would describe my brother."

Doug's Tires is where Maria got to see her little brother shine. It gave him a break into the automotive industry and gave him a chance to do what he loved. The impact he made there was great.

"My brother left this world the best version of him because of that place and I solely believe it," Afdjinia said. "Yeah, he got really good at what he does. Like really, really good."

His coworkers, friends and family remember Yanny's love and spirit at Velvet Gypsy. During the service honoring him, each message written to Yanny showed the mark he made on his loved ones.

"I learned that my brother is everlasting. I learned that my brother's love is infinite and I always knew when he was here too,"  Afdjinia said. "Now it's like embedded. It's like he microchipped me. My sister and I are really going through it. My parents, the community, his boss, like, everybody, but everyone feels everyone feels him. My brother made himself known and has made it his presence like strong."

The 20-year-old woman with Yanny the night of the crash was taken to the hospital and released. She's doing OK, they said.

His family and community are fundraising to memorialize him. The money they've raised will go to a mural of him that will be painted outside Doug's Tire. If you'd like to contribute, you can here.

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