Family Grieves Over UWS Woman's Death in Hit-and-Run Accident
LONGWOOD — Grieving family members were trying to piece together what happened to a much-adored young Upper West Side woman who was killed on a Bronx street in a hit-and-run, according to police.
Abigail Lino, 24, of Manhattan Valley, was crossing from Bruckner Boulevard to Austin Place in the South Bronx at 3:02 a.m., police said, when a southbound light-colored SUV struck her, causing severe trauma to her body.
Lino had run out into the street while leaving Bronx a club after someone shouted to partygoers that a person had a gun, the Daily News reported. The exact details of the incident are still unknown, family said.
"She started running across the street. Someone yelled her name. She turned to look and that's when the car hit her," Raven Taylor, 23, an eight-year friend of Lino's, told the paper.
Relatives gathered at the woman's home in the Frederick Douglass Houses on Amsterdam Avenue, and sobbed over the sudden loss of such a giving woman.
Lino, a supervisor at UPS, was a crucial support to her mother, Ritza, 46, and also a caregiver to one of her younger sisters, Jennifer, 20, who has Downs syndrome, the victim's mother said.
Ritza Lino said she was awoken at 5 a.m. by four girls she didn't know at the door of her apartment. They were all crying, she said, and told her to sit down before breaking the news of her daughter's death.
"I feel like my daughter hasn't died," she said, clutching a photograph of the dead woman at Disney World, with her sister Jennifer, which was taken in July.
"She is my second hand, she supports me."
As family members filed in from around the city and Long Island, Ritza Lino struggled to make sense of the loss, repeatedly beating on her chest, crying in sobs, and at one point collapsing in her seat and needing to be held up by a visiting pastor.
She described her daughter as a hard worker and a skilled basketball player who loved to go dancing with friends, but who was foremost a family-oriented person.
"We loved going to City Island to eat fish. She told me how every Monday now we would go to the restaurant," she said, crying.
"I want my daughter back. Ay, Abi. I want her to come back home."
Jasmin Alexander, 23, a close friend of the victim, sat next to Ritza Lino and tried to console her. Alexander said she met Lino while staying in the apartment complex earlier this year, and had returned to visit her Saturday morning after having not seen her for a couple of weeks.
"I just can't believe this, I mean I just saw her yesterday," she said. "I just want to hold her and hug her and tell her everything is going to be OK," she said, crying. "She said 'text me' and I never got to text her back. I never got to say goodbye."
Aunts, cousins, and uncles milled around the apartment, sifting through pictures of Lino, trying to comprehend what had happened.
"She was a good girl. She would always make sure her family is good, and then do her own thing," said Lino's cousin, Doria Flaharty, 32.
Police said an investigation was ongoing.