‘He has to pay:’ Drunk driver fleeing crash fatally strikes hardworking NYC dad

by Editorial Team

A drunk driver fleeing the scene of a fender bender blew through a red light in Queens and fatally struck a hardworking dad, then sparked a pileup involving three more vehicles, cops said Monday.

Jorge Samaniego allegedly blasted through a red light in a 2000 Honda Odyssey on Broadway at 60th St. in Sunnyside , slamming into Alberto Zamacona about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Sameniego was fleeing the scene of a minor crash five blocks away when he struck Zamacona, who was in the crosswalk on his way home from work, according to cops.

Zamacona, 47, worked as a floorer and was the sole provider for his wife, son and daughter.

“It’s tough,” the victim’s devastated son, Andres Ramirez, 22, told the Daily News.

“He would help everyone out. If he didn’t have enough, he would still give you. He always looked out for everybody. He was an amazing person. He worked very hard.”

Zamacona was seven blocks from his home when the Honda slammed into him, sending him flying onto the hood before hitting the ground. He suffered severe head trauma, officials said. EMT’s rushed him to Elmhurst Hospital where he died two days later.

The family, waiting for their father to come home, was not notified till the next day.

“He would always give me advice on how to work things out,” said Ramirez. “And I’m glad that he did because now I’m helping my family move forward and to stay strong. He wouldn’t want to see us cry.”

Samaniego, 50, heartlessly sped away after hitting Zamacona, according to cops. He veered out of the eastbound lane into oncoming traffic, blew through another red light and crashed into a 2013 Toyota Prius stopped at the intersection of 61st St. and Broadway, a block away from where Zamacona was killed.

The Prius flew backward into a 2015 Toyota Sienna, which crashed into the 2014 Grand Jeep Cherokee idling behind it. The drivers of the Prius and the Sienna were taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition and later released. The Cherokee driver was not hurt.

“He has to pay,” the victim’s wife Silveria Ramirez, 47, said of the driver. “These things really hurt people. And I think he needs to pay the consequences.”

“We do forgive, but we don’t forget,” her son added. “It is bad what happened. He did take a piece of our lives away from us.”

The family has started a gofundme page to cover Zamacona’s funeral expenses and medical bills.

Samaniego, who lives in Maspeth, was arrested for aggravated vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, failure to yield to a pedestrian, fleeing the scene of an accident and running a red light. He was ordered held on $200,000 bond. Because the victim died after the arrest, Samaniego could face increased charges at his next court date.

The crash happened just five hours after another deadly crash in Queens where the driver of a BMW allegedly rolled through a stop sign, fatally striking a pedestrian.

READ FROM SOURCE: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-driver-out-of-control-alberto-zamacona-20191216-bw2ljw2vhfh2zcpo4gtdtex7vu-story.html

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