Teenager Killed in Queens Hit-and-Run

By Dana Varinsky and Jess Wisloski  on September 29, 2013 11:44am  | Updated on September 29, 2013 4:59pm

 Luis Bravo, 19, on the right, with his younger sister.
Luis Bravo, 19, on the right, with his younger sister.
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Bravo family

WOODSIDE — A 19-year-old was struck and killed in Queens Saturday night, and police were hunting for the driver who left the scene, police said.

Luis Bravo, of Jackson Heights, was walking eastbound on Broadway, near 58th Street, when a dark-colored sedan headed southbound on 58th struck him, causing severe trauma to his body, police learned after investigating.

"It feels like my life has been taken away," said Bravo's mother, Marta Puruncajas, in Spanish, at her family's home in Jackson Heights. "He wanted to do so much with his life and now, nothing," she said, in between sobs.

Gustavo Balletta, a close friend of Bravo's, said the two of them were on their way home from a grocery store, Stop & Shop, when Bravo was hit.

Balletta said he had crossed the street just before Bravo, but turned around to find his friend on the ground.

"I started freaking out, trying to call 911, trying to figure out what happened. I couldn't react," Balletta said. He said Bravo was still breathing after he was hit.

Bravo was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, but declared dead on arrival.

Family members said Luis Bravo was working and studying mechanical engineering at New York City College of Technology. His father was deported to Ecuador ten years ago, so his mother has been raising Bravo and his younger sister on her own.

"I am destroyed. I am not going to have my friend anymore. I don't know what to do," Gustavo Balletta said. In Spanish he added, "whoever did this — I hope they catch him."

Police were looking for the driver of the sedan, but no arrests had been made Sunday.

 

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