Reading room dedicated to Oakland hit-and-run victims

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A community in Oakland is still grieving for one of their families ripped apart by a hit and run driver seven months ago.

Six-year-old Angel Garcia-Vasquez, his mother Alma Vazquez, and his uncle Jaime Garcia, were all hit while they crossed Foothill Blvd at 26th Avenue, around 7 p.m. on April 13. They were all walking in the crosswalk.

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Paramedics tried to resuscitate the family, but Angel and Alma died. Jaime is still in a coma.

"The tragedy really affected us personally," said Laura Juevara.

Angel, Alma, and Jaime were leaving Juevara's laundromat, when they were hit.

In honor of their memory, Laura dedicated a reading room at Family Laundry to Angel and Alma. The Oakland Public Library supplies books to the Angel and Alma's reading room, which also serves as an educational space.

Juevara says the community has also been trying to support the family's father and two surviving children. "It's been really hard for them. The community has rallied around them through taking care of the children, providing food services."

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After the crash, Oakland's Department of Transportation installed plastic posts and painted a pedestrian island in the middle of the intersection. During the dedication, DOT explained how they're making even more safety improvements to area.

"We determined that one intersection over, at Foothill and 27th Avenue, they'll be a new traffic signal constructed, and then here at Foothill and 26th Avenue, we'll be installing flashing yellow lights, which improve driver's yielding rates to pedestrians," said Ryan Russo, the director of Oakland's Department of Transportation.

The alleged hit and run driver, 27-year-old Rasenoch Allen, was captured by US Marshals in Virginia over the summer.
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