NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — A heartbroken Long Island mother had an angry message for the accused drunk driver who police say killed her teen daughter as she walked home from volunteering.
“He’s a murderer,” Yolanda Silvera said.
Filled with anger and heartbreak, the family of 18-year-old Tynielle Silvera struggled into court. The life of their loving, vibrant, gifted daughter had just been snuffed out by an alleged drunk driver, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
“What can they get out of a bottle?” Silvera said. “My child had so much promise. She graduated with a 94 average. She wanted to be a lawyer.”
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera talks to the distraught family
After receiving her honors diploma from Law and Government High School, Tynielle was volunteering as a tutor.
She returned to Amityville on the Long Island Rail Road on Wednesday. Police said she was walking home when she was mowed down by Kenneth Serwan, a 44-year-old father of three and volunteer soccer coach from Lindenhurst.
“She wouldn’t have stepped out into the street unless it was clear. I can’t imagine the speed he was coming in,” Silvera said. “And he works with kids. If he works with kids, why is he not more responsible?”
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports
Police are investigating whether the light was red or green along Sunrise Highway. It was dark when Tynielle was struck in the crosswalk, and police said the driver appeared intoxicated.
“When you put a drink to your mouth and you don’t know your limitations – you did this to my child, you did this to my child deliberately,” Silvera said. “He needs to be put away – he shouldn’t even be arraigned, he should be hung.”
Tynielle’s mother collapsed from emotion, and had to be carried from the courtroom.
“Drink and drive, it’s a tragedy for this family during the Christmas season,” Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Robert Edwards said. “She appears to be a good kid from a very nice family.”
Tynielle was just half a mile from home when she lost her life. Her family plans to bury her in her native Jamaica.
Serwan’s blood alcohol tests are pending. His attorney, Joel Salinger, declined to comment.
Serwan pleaded not guilty, and was being held on $100,000 cash bail. His wife and children did not attend the court proceedings.