NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A vigil was being held Sunday afternoon in honor of Angelie Paredes, the 8-month old girl killed in what police have labeled a distracted driving incident last week.
Friends and family gathered in North Bergen to remember the little girl killed when a jitney bus driver lost control and knocked down a lamppost, which fell onto the baby’s stroller last week in West New York, N.J.
Angelie Paredes‘ father issued a plea on Facebook for drivers to put down the cellphone.
“Please stop texting or talking on the phone when driving. Give the road your full and undivided attention. Make us a promise you will do so. Put your phone in the trunk, bag, or somewhere out of reach,” Jairo Paredes wrote on his Facebook page.
Paredes also wrote Saturday morning about precious moments spent with his baby, and said the family’s healing will last a lifetime.
“Angelie would wake me up all the times. As I slowly open my eyes the first thing I would see is the top of her head and eventually her face. She loved to climb on top of me and wake me up. If that didn’t work her delicate voice would softly wake me, ‘Apa Pa Pa.’ She would repeat that over and over,” Paredes wrote on Facebook. “However today at 5am my wife and I will awake without our Angelie. Not hearing her sweet voice. This is our reality and we are still trying to wrap our heads around it.”
Friends and family members said they hope this terrible accident brings about change.
“This tragedy would have never happened if the man was not on a cellphone. And even if the cellphone companies could come out with a way where these cellphones would not work while you’re driving,” the baby’s great uncle Vinny Travigliano told CBS 2’s Jim Smith.
He said he wants to see some changes.
“They should really strengthen or make the laws a lot stricter for people driving like that,” Travigliano said.
“I don’t know why people still do it. It’s been known long enough. I mean, when phones first came out, yeah everybody did it. But these days, there’s no reason to,” family friend Frank Frakl told Smith.
Idowu Daramola, 48, is charged with death by auto, reckless driving and using a cellphone while operating a vehicle.
Court records showed Daramola had three open warrants out for him.
One was out of North Bergen for failure to appear for a complaint on staging a commercial vehicle. Another was from West New York for failing to pay a ticket for dropping off passengers in an unauthorized area in 2011. And the third was for allegedly running a red light in 2012, CBS 2 reported last week.
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