On July 30th, an eight-month-old baby girl, pushed in her stroller by her mother along the NJ waterfront, was killed when a light pole fell and struck her. The pole fell because a bus driver was allegedly texting or talking on his cellphone and struck a number of cars and the pole in West New York. The parents of little Angelie Paredes are now speaking out, in hopes their daughter's death was not in vain. Maylin Hago said, "I don't want this nightmare for any parent, for anyone, to lose a loved one because of distracted driving."
Hago and Jairo Paredes spoke to NBC New York and they are utterly devastated that their daughter was taken from them so soon. Paredes described how Angelie was his little alarm clock and was his inspiration. They happily shared video of her crawling and taking her first steps.
Paredes pleaded, "If you're in a car and your friend is texting, hold the phone for them. If you're driving alone, put it in the trunk, put in your a bag, silence it. It's stupid. We're not that important that we need to take that next phone call or we need to send that next message. It can wait." He also wrote a moving post on his Facebook page, remembering his daughter and thanking friends and strangers for their support:
To all parents reading this, give your children a kiss and let them know that you love them. Do it every time. I would give my life for that one last chance. Just to feel her weight on my arms, her warmth, gaze at her smile, smell her head, kiss her cheeks, hands, feet, and tell her daddy loves you. I'd give my life for that opportunity and so would my wife.
Family means everything. Everything. Nothing else matters. You can build a home, fix your car, replace a lost phone, etc. Family is delicate and deserves your attention. Get off the iPhones and iPads when u are home. Talk to your wives, husbands, kids, and anyone else there. Gain control of yourself and appreciate what really matters. It is there right in front of you.
The bus driver, Idowu Daromola, was charged with reckless driving, death by auto, and operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone