Father of 2-year-old boy killed by SUV pleads for answers

Newport News, Va. – Just minutes before 2-year-old Angel Vazquez was hit by an SUV outside his Newport News home, his family recorded a home video of Angel playing with his identical twin brother Bryan. Angel died the next day in the hospital.

“It was so, so quick,” says Manuel Vazquez, Angel’s father. “How he got into the street I don’t know.”

One minute Vazquez says he was inside getting his family ready for church, the next he was outside, his tiny son bleeding on the pavement.

“Right here to here, open,” Vazquez demonstrates the injury to Angel’s head. “The only think I can see right there is the picture in my head. It’s the picture in my head that I cannot do nothing.”

Police say it was a 41-year-old woman who drove over Angel in a Ford Expedition.

Vazquez’s niece, Mayriellies Perez, saw it happen. She says she screamed for the driver to stop.

“I heard when the car hit him and it was hard,” she says.

You can still see the markings on the pavement where Angel was hit on Wickham Avenue near 29th street. Nearly a block away, are more markings. That’s where Vazquez says the Expedition finally came to a halt. Now he wants to know why it took the driver so long to stop.

“Even if you hit a little cat you feel that,” Vazquez says. “Even if you hit a rock you feel that. How you don’t feel that you hit a boy of 2 years old. Two years and ten months. How don’t you feel that? I want to know exactly what’s going on.”

As police continue their investigation, Vazquez says little Bryan asks about his brother every day.

Angel’s tragic death will now save others. Vazquez decided to donate his son’s organs.

“That’s why Angel is still alive,” he says. “He lives on in another child.”

23 comments

  • Let's be real, here....

    Well, a lot of other people would like some answers, too, dude. Such as-how does a two year old get so far away from his parents that he is able to run out into the street? I can tell you, mine never did, and we didn’t even live on a busy street when she was that little. And to blame the driver because it took her a minute to stop? She may not have realized that what she had hit was a child, for a second, or maybe the shock caused her to freeze up-who knows? The last thing she likely expected was a little kid in the street. But she did stop, and I think it is unfair to try to cast blame at her when the child should never have been in the road in the first place. I am sorry this family lost their son, but I think their grief is getting in the way of plain common sense.

    • ETQF

      Victim blaming at its finest; The person responsible for killing this little boy is the driver. Sometimes kids get out, things happen in the blink of an eye, but when you get behind the wheel of a car you need to be alert and diligent to make sure you are being a responsible driver. There was no reason for her to NOT know that she had hit a child. If she was driving through a residential area it is her responsibility as the driver of a potentially deadly machine to be paying attention to her surroundings. If you want to talk about common sense, then THAT is common sense. The DRIVER needs to be paying attention, be alert and be aware of surroundings, she should have stopped the minute she hit that boy.

      • NNFire Medic

        Your completely wrong. First of all the street they liv on is already busy enough. Wickham Ave is know to have traffic. The question should not be why did it take so long to stop. Everyone’s reactions are different. She was a responsible driver because she stopped. She could’ve easily kept going and the nnpd most likely wouldn’t have found her. Anyways you totally ignoring the fact they these patents let their children out of their sight. They are two year olds. Who in their right mind lets them wander. It’s unfortunate some lost their life but to blame the driver is completely and utterly wrong

      • Why?

        Are you serious? It’s not the driver’s fault the parents let a two year old run out in the street unsupervised. Also, how do you know how fast the driver was going? She may have been doing less than the speed limit. Additionally, running over anything small in a SUV probably doesn’t cause much of a bump or noise, so you can’t with any certainly say what she felt or heard. The answers the father ought to be looking for are resident in himself (e.g., Why didn’t I look after my son better?, or How did I let this happen?).

      • Fred Aldridge

        The real KILLER is the person(s) who were supposed to be watching the kid. People blame everyone but themselves. If someone saw the child in the road that person should have gone after him and just not stand there and scream. Stand up and take the blame!!!!! Someone in THIS FAMILY is to blame!!!!!

    • Rachel Humphrey

      I totally agree with you. I do childcare and I have about 5 kids in my care at all times. None get out of my house alone and I make sure of it. When I have them all outside with me NONE get away from me. If I feel they can’t be trusted I don’t let them outside Or I keep them next to me but I make sure they will never be in the road. Now do I feel they did it on purpose NO but please don’t blame this woman was driving in the place she was supposed to be driving and not stopping FAST enough. She feels bad enough already about hitting a child, who should have NEVER been in the road alone.

    • Thomas Kiser

      Very true, I was and am thinking the same as you are. I raised two boys as a single father. now oldest is 18 the youngest is 15 and guess what I still don’t allow my 15 year old to play on the the streets..I know they didn’t allow that baby to play but, … I feel so so bad for that family it’s so sad it happened. God bless them and the driver and all that was involved with that scene, medics, cops fire fighters by standards etc.

  • nicole

    So very sorry for this family’s horrible loss. As a mother of a two year old myself, I know how quick they move, and the slightest thing can happen in a blink of an eye. Drivers everywhere need to ALWAYS remember that anywhere near houses may be a child playing. And these children just MAY run into the street after something. Its called being an innocent child and still learning this big world. Slow down and pay attention drivers!!! Just b/c the posted speed is there, doesn’t mean you have to stretch it to the max, slow for children!

  • If you don't know facts then shut up

    First and foremost if you don’t know the family nor what took place then you can shut up your comments are irrelevant. Anyone with more than one child knows that it is near impossible to keep an eye on all of them at once especially if you’re getting ready for church. Children are fast one second they are there the next they arent. The parents are not to blame. The driver should have been paying attention period. They said that there was no reason to believe the person was speeding therefore they should have had plenty of time to see what was coming in front of them, which leaves me to believe they were distracted. Did they hit the child on purpose I’m sure they didn’t but when driving a vehicle especially in a residential area you should be alert at ALL times. My heart goes out to the family& I pray they find peace. R.I.P Angel

  • Marge

    I feel for the driver. I’m sure she is ate up with guilt having realized she had hit a child and then the child died! From earlier news, it was said that she wasn’t going very fast because she had just stopped for a red signal light and just started moving after the light turned green. Expedition, windows up, ac blowing, music on . . . . . I’m sorry this has happened to the family. But a 2 year old that can climb across the gate on their porch needed to be watched. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time he went over the gate. My heart goes out to both the lady and the family.

  • dalelavine

    Save for the little girl, I think I’m one of the only other eyewitnesses to what happened that day. I work at the pool across the street and during my closing procedures I saw the SUV hit the boy. The driver didn’t slow down, and as is pointed out in the video she didn’t stop for at least another 150 feet. The sound is something I won’t soon forget, nor are the screams from the kids and the parents.

    I keep reading that investigators aren’t faulting the driver or the parents, but something’s gotta give. This wasn’t a no-fault incident. Unless the driver was on her phone or just not paying attention, there’s no reason for her to have not seen the boy in broad daylight. At the same time, I wonder how the kid managed to escape supervision of his parents. Regardless, it’s a tragedy for everyone involved.

    • Thomas Kiser

      Dale man sorry to hear you saw it. I was a firefighter medic from 91 to 2000 and it’s tough on the mind when it is a child. If you need man go get help. Ptsd will take a toll on you and your love ones. I’ve seen it a ton of times.

  • Umanu

    so why don’t you tell that to the police so this lady can pay for what she did i see drivees stop in the highway cuz a duck and they are driving at 60 miles per hour so how is that u cannot saw a 2 years old baby that is not fair

    • dalelavine

      I did. I was the one who called in a code red to my boss, who ran over and started to administer first aid to the child with the help of NN Parks & Rec lifeguards. I told various officers what I saw and filled out two separate incident reports. They have my information and they know what I saw. At this point we’re all just waiting to see what happens next.

      • Umanu

        you did such a great job am not agree with not keeping an eye on your child all the time but i have two kids nd i know how fast they can be now with drivers like that one no one is safety neither she was distracted or she was on her phone i don’t think she was driving on speed limit

        • Umanu

          I was driving at 50 miles per hour the other day and i saw a litle squerrell right in front of my car i hit the break and stoped the car i though i had kill the poor litle animal but she ranaway so quick so that is why i don’t believe on that lady at all! she did it this time and tomorrow she can do it again

  • Umanu

    I went to this baby’s funeral and it was so sad to see his mom crying and i saw him on his litle case come on he did not deserve to die that way huging his mom was very sad for me i felt in love with him forever! pleasse justice for this child!!

  • dawnc

    First of all I would like to give my deepest condolences to the family, I have a grandson the same age. Everyone coming down on them for not watching them well enough is judgemental and cruel. They probably already have enough guilt to last a lifetime, they don’t need your condescending attitudes. I don’t know this family but I do know my grandson, he is smart and can open locks and already thinks he’s a big boy. He has tried to go out the front door before and thank God I was right there and saw him.But sometimes your on the toilet or you turn your back for a second. ..it only takes a second. As far as the woman stopping a BLOCK away seems very strange like she was scared and was thinking about running. I hope they did a breathalyzer on her…

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