By Christina Santucci
Police charged a South Ozone Park SUV man with drinking and driving after a Corona toddler crossing the street with his pregnant mother was struck and killed on Junction Boulevard Friday night, the NYPD said.
The boy’s heartbroken mother, Karina Osorio, 23, said she had been walking hand-in-hand with her 3-year-old son, Olvin Yhair Figueroa, as they crossed the street at the intersection with Northern Boulevard just before midnight. Friend David Dobon translated for Osorio, who spoke in Spanish, and explained that they were en route to the store to buy some groceries.
Police said that after the 2011 Acura MDX struck both the mother and son, the SUV’s driver took the pair to New York Hospital Queens, where Olvin was pronounced dead.
“She said the driver tells her, ‘I didn’t see you. I’m sorry,’” Dobon said.
Authorities later charged 35-year-old Gilbert Echeverria with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, the NYPD said.
Friends and relatives gathered with the toddler’s grieving parents at a loved one’s Corona apartment Saturday afternoon.
Dobon said the family brought the child to the United States from Honduras seven months ago.
“He is looking for a better life,” Dobon said of the boy’s father, Olvin Figueroa.
Olvin’s parents described their son through the translator as happy and playful.
“He liked to eat a lot,” Dobon said. “He played with his friends all of the time.”
The family planned to send the child’s remains back to Honduras.
“He only comes here to lose his life,” Dobon said. “Nobody knows what’s in the future. Only God knows.”
Reach Managing Editor Christina Santucci by phone at 718-260-4589 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.