Last ride: Taxi driver’s body propped up in cab for wake

The 73-year-old cabbie’s sendoff follows a growing Puerto Rican tradition of odd wakes.

People attend the wake of Victor Perez Cardona, whose body is propped up inside his taxi during his wake Sunday, May 24, 2015 in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Perez Cardona, 73, was a veteran taxi driver and followed a growing Puerto Rican tradition of unusual wakes. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)
People attend the wake of Victor Perez Cardona, whose body is propped up inside his taxi during his wake Sunday, May 24, 2015 in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Perez Cardona, 73, was a veteran taxi driver and followed a growing Puerto Rican tradition of unusual wakes. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico (MEDIA GENERAL/AP) – Longtime cabbie Victor Perez Cardona joins a growing list of Puerto Ricans following a unique tradition of inventive wakes.

Cardona, who had driven a taxi cab for the past 15 years, was seated behind the wheel of his taxi for his wake. Perez Cardona, 73, died of cancer, and his wish was to go for one last ride.

Cardona’s body was propped up in the driver’s seat, his hands gripping the wheel. His daughter, Generosa Perez Torres, told The Associated Press her father was a beloved figure in Aguas Buenas.

“This is a funeral of the people,” Perez Torres told the AP. “People have come from all over the island. Some climbed in the taxi with him.”

Inventive wakes have become a niche tradition on Puerto Rico. One young man was propped onto his motorcycle for his wake, while another was posed as a boxer standing in the ring. Last year, an 80-year-old woman wore her wedding dress and sat in her favorite rocking chair for her wake.

Rafael Perez Cardona pays his respects to his brother, Victor Perez Cardona, whose body is propped up inside his taxi during his wake Sunday, May 24, 2015 in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. Perez Cardona, 73, was a veteran taxi driver and followed a growing Puerto Rican tradition of unusual wakes. (Ricardo Arduengo/AP)

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