LA hit-and-run crash leaves young brothers, aged 2 and 13, dead as police search for driver

LA toddler aged 2 and his brother, 13, are both killed after hit-and-run Mercedes driver ran red light and slammed into their family’s SUV: Mom says she’ll ‘forever hate’ their killer

  • Two young brothers were recently killed in a hit-and-run crash in Los Angeles
  • Chris Amaya-Pineda, 13, and Damian Amaya-Pineda, 2, died in the crash 
  • The hit-and-run incident happened in South Los Angeles on January 9 
  • The boys’ mother and older sister were both also injured in the crash 
  • Police are still looking for the driver who sped through the light and took off 

A Southern California family is grieving the loss of two young brothers whose lives were tragically taken in a hit-and-run crash in south Los Angeles last week. 

Chris Amaya-Pineda, 13, and his brother Damian Amaya-Pineda, 2, have both died after being involved in a crash at the intersection of Main Street and 111th Place on January 9. 

Chris was killed by the sheer force of the crash but toddler Damian lived for several days on life support before he died on January 16. 

At a vigil held Monday evening, the boys’ mother, Debbie Amaya – who was also in the car with her 16-year-old daughter when it was hit – said she ‘will forever hate’ the driver who has yet to be arrested in this incident. 

Two-year-old Damian and 13-year-old Chris were both killed in the hit-and-run crash

Two-year-old Damian and 13-year-old Chris were both killed in the hit-and-run crash

Debbie broke down in tears while speaking with local media at the vigil held for her two young boys Monday evening, but said she is trying to stay strong for her daughter who is still alive. 

‘A mother should never bury their children, a mom should never bury her children,’ the heartbroken mother said through tears. 

The crash occurred as the family was on their way grandmother’s house. 

The family was in their SUV when the driver of a speeding Mercedes Benz sedan ran a red-light and struck their vehicle just before 8am. Force from the crash was so strong the SUV was pushed into a fence and a parked vehicle. 

The family was just two blocks from their home in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood. Debbie was driving at the time and said she has been beating herself up in the week since the fatal collision. 

‘I’m so mad at myself, I didn’t see this coming,’ Debbie said. ‘Man, I didn’t see it coming.’

‘This family is completely shattered, leaving the rest of the family (us) to help pick up the pieces,’ a GoFundMe organized for the family reads. 

This was the scene in south Los Angeles where the crash took place

This was the scene in south Los Angeles where the crash took place 

Chris was killed by the sheer impact of the crash, family and law enforcement said

Chris was killed by the sheer impact of the crash, family and law enforcement said 

Several cars were badly damaged in the crash

Several cars were badly damaged in the crash 

Damian was just two-years-old

Damian was just two-years-old 

Officials taped off the scene for hours to investigate

Officials taped off the scene for hours to investigate 

The mother was just recently released from the hospital herself after being in the intensive care unit for extensive injuries sustained in the crash. 

Jade Amaya-Pineda, 16, was not seriously injured in the crash but has spent the last week reeling from the loss of her brothers.

‘I told her everything will be OK,’ Debbie said of her daughter. 

‘She’s stronger than I am. She’s telling me to be strong. She even told me she feels bad because she made it alive. And I told her not to feel like that,’ Debbie told KTLA

 

Family members spoke to the media during the vigil held Monday

Family members spoke to the media during the vigil held Monday

The family said they are grieving and destroyed by the accident

The family said they are grieving and destroyed by the accident 

The driver of the Mercedes that struck the family’s SUV fled the scene on foot after the crash. 

Police have spent the last week looking for the man. 

On Monday evening, Debbie begged the person to come forward and face justice for his actions. 

‘I will forever hate this person because he took two of my sons and that’s not fair,’ she said. ‘He took two of the loves of my life and that’s not fair.’

The crash happened at the intersection of Main Street and 111th Place

The crash happened at the intersection of Main Street and 111th Place

This was one of the cars after the crash

This was one of the cars after the crash

One witness at the scene told NBCLA after the crash that the Mercedes driver appeared remorseful after the crash but that he took off still. 

‘I’ve never seen somebody so heartless– to take off and leave like that,’ the witness said. 

Another woman who spoke with FOX LA said she pleaded with the driver before he fled. 

‘He’s like, “I killed them kids? I killed them?” and I said, “Yes,”‘ the woman told the local outlet. 

Police have been searching nearby hospitals believing the driver may have also been injured in the collision. 

When he is arrested, police officials say he will most likely face charges of felony hit-and-run. 

Before the toddler had died, his aunt had said he would have been severely impacted by injuries sustained in the crash. 

‘If there’s a miracle, doctors are saying he’ll most likely be paralyzed,’ Julie Amaya, the children’s aunt, said of the boy. 

‘He will not be the same little Damian that was before,’ Julie said. 

The family eventually announced the young boy’s death in an update on the GoFundMe organized for the family. 

‘The doctors did everything they could to save little Damian’s life, however, his injuries were way too severe,’ the update read. ‘We were all rooting for little Damian so much,’ the family said. 

As of January 17, the fundraiser has brought in nearly $84,000 of its $100,000 goal.  

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