DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are investigating a pedestrian crash in Davie that resulted in the death of a father and his daughter.
Carlos Alvarado Amaya and his 5-year-old daughter Heidi Orellana-Cruz were killed while crossing the street during a night of trick-or-treating along Southwest 68th Avenue and Griffin Road, just before 8 p.m., Wednesday.
The mother and wife of the victims, Maria Orellana-Cruz, is devastated about the ordeal and spoke out on Thursday.
According to Davie Police, Amaya and two of his children, 5 and 2 years old, were crossing a designated crosswalk not far from their home, when a woman driving a white Cadillac hit them.
Police said the driver was heading east on Griffin Road and traveling at about 45 mph. That driver remained on the scene and told police she attempted to stop when she saw the family, but it was too late.
“At this point, it just seems to be a tragic accident,” said Davie Detective Vivian Gallinal. “Again, there were other factors that might have contributed to it. There’s bushes and trees that probably would have been difficult for both the driver and the father to see each other. The area was really dark.”
A neighbor in the area came across the scene while out on his evening walk.
“And I heard a loud bang followed by a screech, and then a woman screaming for help,” he said. “By the time I had gotten across the median, that’s when I saw the child lying on the road. It’s one of those moments where you feel very helpless.”
#DaviePolice working a multiple fatality pedestrian crash. PIO is on scene and the media staging will be at the preschool parking lot 6700 Griffin Rd. Must enter EB from University Dr.
— Davie Police Dept. (@DaviePolice) November 1, 2018
Amaya and the 5-year-old were pronounced dead on the scene. The toddler, Kaylee, sustained a cut to her hand and the side of her head and was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital as a precaution.
“This is a miracle from God that she was able to survive, but the other two passed away,” said Maria through a translator.
The heartbroken mother said Heidi was dressed in her Paw Patrol costume as she left the house to go trick-or-treating for the first time.
“Every year we take [the older kids] out at night all dressed up and the 5-year-old kept asking to go out,” said Maria, “and that’s why he decided to take them out because they kept crying.”
The mother has been left wondering how she will survive without her husband, who is the bread winner for the family as well as the grief she feels for her daughter.
“I need justice for the person who did this,” Maria said, “the person who killed my daughter and my husband.”
Police said excessive speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.
“You have to be even more careful when driving and paying attention because there are a lot of kids out,” said Gallinal.
A small memorial is now growing at the scene of the crash.
Families who live nearby have stopped to leave flowers, stuffed toys and notes for the little girl.
“I’m touched because I have kids and I’m a father and I’m the breadwinner,” said Alex Gonzalez, a resident in the area visiting the memorial. “I can relate to that.”
“Just hearing about the kid and the father being hit, it really hurt us, it really hit close to home,” added Matt Yasman. “Giving the family prayers and making sure that they know they’re being watched over.”
Gina Mahar, a resident of the area, was left heartbroken. Despite not knowing the family, she left behind several stuffed animals at the scene of the crash.
“It’s just the saddest thing. The saddest thing. On Halloween?” Mahar said.
Maria has three other children at home, who she is now left to care for on her own.
Amaya’s son 17-year-old, Erick Orellana, said he now has to step up as the man of the house.
“I’m extremely sad,” he said, “because I never thought this would have happened to my dad, and now I don’t know what we’re all going to do because he was the head of the household, and he helped maintain all of us.”
As of Thursday evening, the driver who hit the victims has not been charged.
The family said they recently moved to Davie and want to bury the bodies of their loved ones in their home country of El Salvador.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. To donate, click here.
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