Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Child Struck, Killed By Car On Upper West Side Mourned At Prayer Service

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TWC News: Child Struck, Killed By Car On Upper West Side Mourned At Prayer Service
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Community members are mourning the loss of the 4-year old girl killed by a teenage driver in Manhattan.

The Holy Name of Jesus Church held a prayer service for Ariel Russo's classmates and community Wednesday morning.

A makeshift memorial was also created in her honor.

Police say Ariel and her grandmother were struck on the Upper West Side Tuesday by a speeding vehicle.

Police say officers pulled over 17-year old Franklin Reyes for reckless driving, but he fled with police in pursuit, striking the two less than 30 seconds later.

"You see these kids every day like they're your children," said Pernell Valdivieso, whose daughter is in the school that Ariel attended. "When your daughter leaves class and they're all hugging each other and kissing each other goodbye like their own brothers and sisters, it's tough."

"It's so senseless if there was a police pursuit in this neighborhood when it's so congested and it's full of babies," said one person who attended the service. "We just wanted to pay our respects."

Reyes faces charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license.

Ariel's grandmother remains hospitalized.

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