For the first time since their tragic loss, the family of a 16-month-old who died after being struck by a car in Normal Heights Wednesday afternoon is speaking out and asking the public for help.
On Wednesday, the toddler, identified by his family as Manuel Erik Mercado, or Manny, was hit by a car just before 1:30 p.m. at a home in the 4400-block of Wilson Avenue.
According to police, the Manny was being watched by a caretaker. That woman's 22-year-old daughter came by the house and apparently backed over the toddler with her car as she was leaving.
Police say no one realized the boy had slipped away, until his 10-year-old aunt discovered him in the driveway.
Manny was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
On Saturday, several items that belonged to Manny were placed in the driveway of the home on Wilson Ave where he was killed earlier in the week.
The family, still mourning, says they now have to deal with the financial burden of their loss. They’re asking the public for help in funding funeral services for the child and have setup a GoFundMe account.
"Help us financially to bury the baby so that we can just put the baby to rest,” said Linda Soltero, Manny's relative, in an interview with NBC 7 San Diego. “[Help] to pray for us. To pray for the family, to uplift the family.”
Manny’s family members said their lives will never be the same and through this tragedy they've learned just how precious life is.
"Hold your family, kiss your family. Tell them you love them because you don't know... the last time you'll be able to do it," Soltero said.
For more information about the GoFundMe account for Manny, visit this website.