A father said he holds no grudges against the New Jersey driver who struck his 7-year-old girl and drove off Feb. 29, leaving his injured child to die at the scene.
First-grader Shayla Pichardo and her mother, Yeimy, were walking to school in West New York, New Jersey, when a black SUV hit them both, WPIX reports. The girl died in her crying mother’s arms. The mother was treated at hospital and released.
“He hit the little girl, looked at her, then he decided to run, he went back in his car and ran off,” the owner of a nearby grocery store told WCBS.
Police say they have since arrested a couple, Fabian Rodriguez Calles, 33, and Joanna Rosas-Alvarez, 26. Both are held without bail.
Paula Osario, a family friend, describing the scene to WCBS said, “She just wanted to be close to her baby, so she couldn’t stop hugging her. She said: ‘Wake up! Wake up!’"
“Her bookpack and the sweater and all the blood,” another witness to the accident, Yanera Portero, told WCBS.
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bruce Miller said or the arrest, “We were able to impound the car, we took them in for questioning, after several hours we were able to place them both under arrest.”
The couple’s neighbors were shocked at the allegations against them.
Gladys Rodriguez, who owns the home Calles and Rosas-Alvarez live in, called Calles a “nice guy.”
Before the pair were arrested, Javier Pichardo told WCBS in Spanish, "If he hears this message, I hold no anger towards him. I just ask him if he has a family to step in my shoes.”
“I can’t do anything now,” he added. “The only thing I can do is ask God to help and give me strength for my wife.”