NEW YORK (AP) — As investigators look into whether a medical problem may have caused a motorist to plow into a group of New York City trick-or-treaters, killing a 10-year-old girl and two others, mourners remembered the victims.
“I had a lot of dreams for Nyanna. I had so many plans for her,” Natalia Perez said the day after her daughter, Nyanna Aquil, was pronounced dead at a hospital. The victim’s 3-year-old sister also was hospitalized.
Perez’s 65-year-old father, Louis Perez, suffered severe head trauma and died at the scene Saturday night when the car jumped a curb in the Bronx, leaving behind mangled bodies and bloodied costumes as neighbors ran to help.
Another man, 24-year-old Kristian Leka, also was killed. His 9-year-old sister and a 21-year-old female friend were injured but not critically.
As a crowd gathered for a candlelight vigil at a street corner in the Bronx Sunday night, police were examining whether the 52-year-old driver may have suffered a medical emergency, such as a seizure.
The black Dodge Charger plowed into the pedestrians on a sidewalk and then smashed through a fence in front of a home, police said. The driver was taken to the hospital in stable condition. No charges had been announced as of Sunday night, police said.
Witnesses described hearing a loud boom, followed by screaming and crying, then seeing a trail of mangled bodies in crumpled, bloodied costumes.
“I saw a torso on the sidewalk. I didn’t know if it was a Halloween dummy or a real person,” neighbor Fabio Cotza told the New York Post. “I just grabbed a whole bunch of towels and ran outside.”
Perez said her father had taken her daughters out for a second round of trick-or-treating while she was at work.
“I’m at peace that they are in Heaven together,” Perez told NBC New York.