A family and community are left mourning three-year-old Olvin Jahir Figueroa after he was fatally struck by an alleged drunk driver while crossing a Jackson Heights street with his mother.
According to police, on October 11 at approximately 9:50 p.m. the toddler was crossing the corner of Junction Boulevard and Northern Boulevard with his mother after visiting a nearby market, when a white 2011 Acura struck him. The 35-year-old driver then stopped and drove the toddler and his mother to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing where the toddler was pronounced dead.
The driver, Gilbert Echeverria, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated, police said.
Councilmember Julissa Ferreras gathered with family, residents and members of the local church on Monday, October 14 to hold a candle light prayer vigil for Olvin.
“As a new mother with a baby boy of my own, I know what it is like to have so many hopes and dreams for your children,” said Ferreras. “Olvin’s parents will never get to see him attend his first day of school or see him graduate. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
The councilmember lost two of her best friends close to 20 years ago to a fatal traffic accident also involving a drunk driver at the same intersection.
Ferreras has set up a donation fund at TD Bank to help Olvin’s family with burial expenses. The account number is 4283969885. Checks should be made payable to the “Olvin Jahir Figueroa Burial Fund.”