Just a little more than two weeks after 5-year-old Ivan Hernandez was killed while crossing the street in Vista, his mother is pleading with the city to add crosswalks in the area.
Liliana Huaracha, 31, was joined by family, friends, and neighbors Thursday to remember Ivan. The group prayed for peace and for the single-mother of four children.
"Getting closer to God," said Huaracha. "That’s the only thing that’s getting me, giving me a little more peace."
Huaracha was walking down the road to the barber shop to get a haircut with her children on July 7.
Her 16-year brother was the first to cross the busy road of Bobier Drive.
She said her 3-year-old broke loose from her grip and ran toward the flower beds near their apartment complex. Huaracha said she told Ivan to stay where he was and ran after her 3-year-old.
But in two seconds her life changed, she said. Ivan was struck and killed by a car.
According to the San Diego COunty Sheriff's Department, the incident was ruled as an accident.
"I think about him every day," said Huaracha.
Thursday, the community came together and organized a fundraiser at Glow Zone. The co-owner of the family challenge arena, Dante Brooks, invited the community to help the family.
"I couldn't imagine the pain that they're going through," said Brooks, whose son went to daycare with Ivan. "We are donating 10 percent of today's proceeds back to Ivan's family."
Huaracha said she is thankful for the community’s help.
"I do have a good community that has been supporting me, economically and spiritually," she said.
But she added it's not enough and that she wants to see change. She said she hopes the city will implement traffic lights, crosswalks, and take steps to make the area safer.
In a statement by City of Vista spokesperson, Andrea McCullough said:
"Due to tremendous safety concerns, the City of Vista would not place an uncontrolled crosswalk across a major arterial road. Crosswalks…are placed at controlled intersections (with traffic signals) for safety purposes."