Updated 10/14/2009 01:29 PM
Alleged DWI Crash Claims Life Of 11-Year-Old
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An 11-year-old girl was killed and seven others injured early Sunday morning in an alleged drunk driving crash in Manhattan.
Carmen Huertas, 31, is being charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI.
Police say she was driving on the Henry Hudson Parkway at West 96th Street when she lost control of the car which then flipped over around 12:45 a.m.
Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old sixth grader at Greenwich Village Middle School, was killed.
“I am feeling lost, I lost my daughter. I am feeling pain,” said Rosado’s father, Lenny. “I am like with eight kids, why my daughter? I don't understand. I question God. My daughter was my world. It's unbelievable.”
Rosado, says Huertas was picking up his daughter and their friends from a party and promised to take care of them.
“What she did was wrong. If she was a responsible parent, she should have said to somebody, ‘I can't take these girls. I am under the influence of alcohol. You know I can't, I am sleepy,’ and leave them all at the other girl's house,” Rosado said. “But no. She wasn't a responsible adult, a responsible individual or a responsible parent.”
Huertas' family members are speak out saying the Bronx housewife and mother of three is a good person, who they admit did a bad thing
“Carmen made a mistake,” said Laura Alvarez, the suspect’s cousin. “She is not a bad person or not a monster, and that's how she'll be portrayed in the media. She made a mistake.”
Huertas’ relatives offered their condolences to the Rosado family.
“We're sorry, we're so sorry,” said Alvarez. “We know that's not even enough, but right now, we are all feeling it. We're all going through pain.”
Rosado says he will press the courts and make Huertas pay for what she did. He says he'll also fight to toughen DWI laws, in his daughter’s memory, so her death will not be in vain.
“I am going to step out of my way to go to City Hall and go to Congress, and even if I have to take a bus to go to the White House to meet with Mr. Obama, there's got to be a bigger penalty for drunk driving,” said Rosado. “I don't know what the penalty is now, but I would love to push it for life [in prison]. Because it will make people think if they get in that vehicle drunk and take somebody else's life, I am in jail for life.”
Seven other people were taken to the hospital with injuries, two of them serious.