CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated Sergio Acero’s age. He was 26. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Always ready with a smile, a kind word or a custom-made birthday cake, Sergio Acero had already mastered the art of friendship and was well on his way to mastering dentistry.
Acero, 26, was in a motorcycle accident on Estes Drive Extension near Seawell School Road at about 6:35 a.m. Saturday and later died from his injuries. The Chapel Hill police investigation is ongoing.
He was a third-year dental student at the UNC School of Dentistry.
Kiara Brown met Acero when they started dental school together in 2011.
“Sergio was one of the most generous, giving, friendliest people that I’ve ever met,” she said.
“He was always pleasant to be around, very hospitable, just somebody that you always wanted to have in your circle of friends.”
His friends said Acero’s hospitality was one of his greatest gifts.
“He would host ‘Scandal’ watch parties at his house and Super Bowl parties,” Brown said. “His house was like home to everybody that knew him.”
Both Acero’s roommate Ray Anderson and Brown said they would remember Acero’s tradition of throwing birthday parties for all his friends, complete with creative custom-made cakes.
“The night that he died, he was hosting a birthday party for another classmate,” Anderson said.
“He went above and beyond to make sure that classmate had a great birthday. That was his only concern.”
Classmate Brian Fernandes cherished Acero’s optimism.
“He’d always be positive,” he said. “He’d always be a smiling face that you could turn to. Whenever I ran into him, I was excited to talk to him.”
Acero’s generosity extended to his professional pursuits.
Brown said Acero’s calm attitude would have made him an ideal dentist.
“He loved all his patients very dearly,” Brown said. “He took good care of them. He would play music for them when they came in, just to kind of relax them because everybody hates going to the dentist.”
Dental student Rivkah Kol said Acero’s family has yet to publicize plans for a memorial.
Kol attended an informal memorial at the site of the accident Sunday.
“They brought flowers, and there were some pieces of the bike still there, and so they kind of put it all together,” she said. “But it was an informal thing that his friends did.”
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