The family of 19-year-old Sara Perez, the East Elmhurst woman who was struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by an allegedly unlicensed 16-year-old boy in Corona last week, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for her funeral, medical and legal bills.
The young woman, who aspired to be a veterinarian one day, had just bought cans of cat food for the 10 strays that she took in at the 108th Street home she shared with her father and sisters just over a block away, according to the GoFundMe page.
Authorities say that Perez was walking along Northern Boulevard just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, when she stopped to allow the dark-colored Ford F-150 pickup truck to back out from a tire repair shop. As she began to walk, the 16-year-old behind the wheel of the pickup truck suddenly accelerated forward, jumped the curb, and pinned Perez against a wooden wall located at 106-15 Northern Blvd., police said.
Police from the 105th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of a motor vehicle collision and discovered the woman unconscious and unresponsive. EMS transported Perez to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
The victim’s cousin, Sandy Molina wrote a message on the fundraising page on behalf of the family.
“Sara deeply cared for those she loved and especially animals. She would take in stray cats and rehab them in her family home providing them with love,” she wrote. “Thank you all so much for the condolences.”
The teenager who was driving the pickup truck remained on the scene and was not arrested. The investigation is ongoing by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad.