Drunk driver kills child on Corona street: Cops
By Christina Santucci

A Corona lawmaker has set up a bank account to help pay for the funeral of a toddler, who police said was killed by a suspected drunk driver as he crossed the street with his pregnant mother Friday night.

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), who held a candlelit vigil for 3-year-old Olvin Yhair Figueroa Monday, said donations will be used to pay for Olvin’s burial.

“As a new mother with a baby boy of my own, I know what it is like to have so many hopes and dreams for your children,” Ferreras said in a statement. “Olvin’s parents will never get to see him attend his first day of school or see him graduate. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

The boy’s heartbroken mother, Karina Osorio, 23, said she had been walking hand-in-hand with her son as they crossed the street at the intersection of Junction and Northern boulevards at about 9:30 p.m. Friday.

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, of South Ozone Park, with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, the NYPD said.

About an hour and a half after the fatal accident, Echeverria had a blood alcohol level of .118, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office. The legal limit 0.08.

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.”

Ferreras said donations could be made through TD Bank, Account No. 4283969885, and checks should be made payable to the Olvin Jahir Figueroa Burial Fund.

Reach Managing Editor Christina Santucci by phone at 718-260-4589 or by email at timesledgerphotos@gmail.com.

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