Mom of Actress Killed in Hit-and-Run Vows to Find Driver

By Smriti Rao on May 30, 2012 6:48pm 

An emotional Cristina Oprea says she is angry at her daughter, Roxana Buta's, hit-and-run death at Union Square on Wednesday; vows to find killer.
An emotional Cristina Oprea says she is angry at her daughter, Roxana Buta's, hit-and-run death at Union Square on Wednesday; vows to find killer.
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Cristina Oprea

NEW YORK — The mother of an aspiring actress who was mowed down by a hit-and-run truck driver in Union Square last week vowed to find the motorist who left her only child to die.

“I will find the killer,” sobbed an emotional Cristina Oprea, 39 a pharmacy worker from New Jersey.

Her daughter Roxana Sorina Buta, 21, was killed when a dump truck hit her as she crossed the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway last Wednesday, her mother said.

“Since that day, I don’t have a daughter,” Oprea sobbed, her voice breaking. “I don’t have her anymore."

The victim, known as "Roxi" to her family, was an aspiring actress who worked as a waitress at Bar 6, a bar on Sixth Avenue and had taken classes at Hunter College.

The night of the accident, she had finished work and was on her way home to her East Harlem apartment, her mother said.

So far, there have been no leads on who was driving the killer truck and no arrests have been made, police said.

“This is horrifying,” said Oprea, recalling the tragic incident which killed her only child. “I want to make sure the guy [driver] pays for it. I don’t know who to be angry at…the city, the police — who?” she cried.

Oprea last saw her daughter on Wednesday, when Roxana dropped in at the Fifth Avenue pharmacy where her mother worked. Oprea said her daughter looked tired. “I told her “Roxi, I love you so much. Don’t work so much.’ “

Calling her “ambitious” and a “fighter,” Oprea said her daughter planned to come home to Hillside, New Jersey for the weekend to spend Memorial Day with her family.

Still shaken from her only child’s sudden death, Oprea said she hoped the police would try and find her daughter’s killer as soon as possible.

“The police said there were a lot of accidents in that area," she said of her initial meeting with investigators. "I wanted to shake the police officer and say ‘Why are you still sitting in that chair?’ Go out and find the killer.’”

The grieving mom said a rally was being planned in Buta’s memory this week at the accident site Thursday at 5 p.m.

“I wont let her go like that," Oprea said. "She was my life. This should not happen to anyone else.”

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