A Perth Amboy man told NBC 4 his daughter was fatally injured along with two other family members when a suspected drunk driver ran a stop sign in upstate New York early Sunday and crashed into the side of their SUV.
Robinson Hernandez told the station that Kiara Hernandez, 4, was killed alongside the girl’s mother and grandmother in Sheldon, N.Y., near Buffalo.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that the family is believed to be “from the Perth Amboy area” but added that the nature of the relationships among the victims was still being determined Monday afternoon.
The other victims killed in the crash are Ondina Castro De La Cruz, 47, and 32-year-old Mayelin Brito-Castro, the sheriff’s office said.
Not everyone in the vehicle was wearing seatbelts, the sheriff also said, adding that investigators were still trying to determine where the victims had been sitting inside the SUV when it was hit.
Six other members of the family were hurt in the same crash, authorities said. Among the injured were four more children -- two four-year-olds, a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old, all of whom were still hospitalized Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office said. The names of the juvenile victims were withheld.
Also hurt were Reyes Rodriguez, 55, who was treated and released, as well as 26-year-old Maria Brito-Castro. Brito-Castro was expected to be released from the hospital today.
According to authorities, the family was headed to Niagra Falls when a pickup truck hit their Kia Sedona in a T-bone collision. The driver of the pickup, 20-year-old Richard Sawicki of Lackawanna, N.Y., has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, DWI and reckless driving. He was being held on $200,000 bond.
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