NORTH MERRICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 26-year-old woman is under arrest, and charged in a crash that killed a mother and hurt a young boy on Long Island.
Seeing was believing. It was heartbreaking for the loved ones of Lissette Quintanilla to be at the spot alongside the Meadowbrook Parkway in North Merrick, where the 39-year-old nurse was killed while driving her 7-year-old son home from a relative’s birthday party late Saturday night.
“She was a great person and nobody can believe what happened,” Marcos Juarez, the victim’s cousin, told CBS2’s Dave Carlin on Sunday.
Flowers now ring the tree that her car struck. Steps away is a busted guardrail that the other car plowed through. Police said it was driven by a woman who was intoxicated.
Detectives told the family the following sequence of events:
“The lady that was driving … 80-90 mph. She was trying to get onto the highway,” Juarez said. “She hit in behind the car, in the rear of the car.”
Police arrested the other driver, 26-year-old Nicole Pollock of Freeport, and charged her with vehicular manslaughter, assault, and DWI.
Relatives said the victim’s son underwent surgery on his arm and will be hospitalized for a few days, Carlin reported.
Carlin also learned that the boy told family members he tried to help his dying mom.
“When the accident happened the kid get up and see his mother … looked for the phone to call 911, he said the mother was sleeping but the mother tried to get up again and hug him,” Juarez said.
He said Quintanilla was a single mom, living with her son in South Hempstead.
CBS2 has learned she has two other children who are grown and out of the house.
“It’s your neighbor, so there is shock. It’s devastating,” Dexter Neal said.
The sudden loss and relentless grief comes as the family focuses their attention on a young boy without a mom, who needs them more now than ever.