A family headed to their grandmother’s house never made it to their destination after a hit-and-run driver slammed into their car in South Los Angeles Monday, killing a 13-year-old boy while leaving a toddler on life support.
Loved ones are mourning the death of Chris Amaya-Pineda, 13. The crash also left his mother and two siblings in serious condition. Chris’ two-year-old brother, Damian, was on life support Wednesday night, fighting for his life.
“If there’s a miracle, doctors are saying he’ll most likely be paralyzed,” Julie Amaya, Chris’ aunt says of Damian. “He will not be the same little Damian that was before.”
His mother, Deborah, 35, remains hospitalized but is expected to recover. Chris’ 16-year-old sister, Jade, was not seriously injured.
The collision happened just before 8 a.m. at Main Street and 111th Place when a speeding Mercedes ran a red light and struck the family’s SUV. The impact pushed their car into a fence and a parked vehicle, according to Los Angeles Police.
The crash happened just two blocks from the family’s home in the Broadway Manchester neighborhood.
“I remember when I woke up, my body was really sore and they had told me that my brother passed and that my mom was going to be okay,” recalled Jade.
Authorities say the hit-and-run driver ran from the scene soon after the crash after his vehicle caught on fire.
“It’s probably one of the saddest cases I’ve ever seen working here for four years,” said Dr. Adam Garibay, an emergency medicine doctor at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
The family remains distraught while desperately searching for answers.
“I know my brother wouldn’t want me to feel sad, so I’m trying to be strong for him,” said Jade. “He was really kind. I need people to keep praying for my little brother because I really need him to survive and I can’t lose another brother.”
They have a message for anyone who might know the driver.
“He has to take accountability for what he did,” said Jade. “The family is torn. Just think of what you want for someone to do for you. Just please, just help us. We’re asking for help.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help the family with funeral expenses.
Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD at 1-877-275-5273.