Boy, 7, killed after hit-and-run driver plows SUV through front window of Bronx restaurant

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This article originally appeared in The New York Daily News

A 7-year-old boy inside the restaurant was struck and died from his injuries at Jacobi Hospital. 
A 7-year-old boy inside the restaurant was struck and died from his injuries at Jacobi Hospital.

A 7-year-old boy who’d stopped in a Bronx fast-food joint for an ice cream with his father and sister was killed Thursday after a driver backed his SUV through the front window and pinned the boy against a wall, his family said.

“When he was in the ambulance, his mother said, ‘Everything will be OK,’ and he said, ‘OK, mommy. I’ll be here waiting for you,’” little Ethan Villavicencio’s aunt, Taisha Alameda, said through tears at Jacobi Medical Center, where the boy died.

Ethan, his 5-year-old sister Maya, and their 34-year-old father had ducked into the Kennedy’s Chicken and Sandwiches on Westchester Ave. near Colonial Ave. in Pelham Bay while waiting for their mother, 26-year-old Natasha Villavicencio, to get out of a nearby appointment around 5:30 p.m., relatives said.

Ethan Villavicencio, 7, was killed when the car careened through the front window of the Kennedy Fried Chicken.
COURTESY OF THE VILLAVICENCIO FAMILY Ethan Villavicencio, 7, was killed when the car careened through the front window of the Kennedy Fried Chicken.

They were sitting at a booth near the window when the treat turned into unimaginable horror. A Mercedes-Benz SUV reversed into the restaurant, shattering glass, overturning tables and pinning the boy against a side wall, witnesses said.

“There was a crater where the boy hit the wall,” said bus driver Luis Cruz, 52.

Ethan lay on the floor, conscious but barely able to move, Cruz said. His sister and father stood over him.

“The father was a bloody mess. He was covered with blood and he was trying to tend to his son. The blood from his face was dripping down on the boy,” Cruz said. “It was heartbreaking.”

Police sources said the driver, Kwasi Oduro, was apparently trying to back into a parking spot when he lost control, then took off as a bystander tried to stop him, witnesses said.

“The SUV was trying to get away and a guy grabbed the door handle and actually opened the car door. He tried to pull the driver out but he stepped on the gas and pulled away,” Cruz said.

Other bystanders ran after the car and flagged down traffic agents, who nabbed the 73-year-old Oduro two blocks away.

Ethan’s horrified mom ran to the restaurant and held the boy’s hand in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Maya, who had arm injuries, and the father, who had cuts to his head, were both treated at Jacobi Medical Center, where family members gathered late Thursday.

Ethan “wanted ice cream so they went in to get ice cream. First time ever that they were there. Just for ice cream and this happens,” Alameda said.

“Tomorrow he had a speech in class he practiced so hard for, and Saturday he was supposed to go to the beach,” she sobbed.

“Everywhere he went, he danced. He gave life to everyone.”

As for the driver, Alameda said, “Why? Why did he do that?”

Police charged Oduro with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death and injuries. He was awaiting arraignment Friday morning.

Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

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