CORONA — The family of the 3-year-old boy killed by a driver police said was drunk is hoping to raise enough money to bury him in their native Honduras, according to the local councilwoman.
The plans were announced at a vigil held near the intersection in Corona where Olvin Jahir Figueroa, called Jahir, was mowed down Friday while walking with his mother.
Gilbert Echeverria, 35, was driving north on Junction Boulevard when he struck the boy, police said.
Echeverria was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, police said.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras held the Monday night vigil with local religious and civic leaders and announced the creation of a burial fund to help his family pay for funeral arrangements.
"This mother will never go to [his] graduation. She'll never go to his first day of school," Ferreras said.
There will be a wake for him Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Rivera Funeral Home in Corona.
Jahir's father, Olvin Figueroa, said over the weekend the family recently came to Queens in search of a better life.
Jahir had an older sister still in Honduras, said Figueroa, and was with mother Karina Osorio when he was hit, he said. Osorio, who is pregnant with Figueroa's third child, was uninjured in the accident, he said.
It wasn't immediately known how much money the Figueroas needed to raise to cover the burial expenses.
At the vigil, Ferreras spoke about community responsibility to prevent more tragedies from happening.
"I call on my community to understand that if someone's been drinking at a party, they shouldn't be driving," she said.
The accident was personal to the councilwoman. Two of her friends were killed by a drunk driver on the same corner 20 years ago, she said.
"This is preventable, all of this," she said. "The death is preventable. The accident is preventable."
A donation fund for Olvin Jahir Figueroa has been established at TD Bank, account number 4283969885. Checks should be made payable to the Olvin Jahir Figueroa Burial Fund.