The daughter of a Brooklyn woman killed by an unlicensed hit-and-run driver learned of the devastating death when a police officer answered her mother’s cell phone.
Heartbroken, Gladys Perez, still reeling from the news of Wednesday night’s fatal accident, delivered a message to the accused killer as she mourned the shocking loss of her mother, struck down in the street while returning from a nearby babysitting job.
“You took a life,” Perez, 41, said Thursday. “He could have at least stopped to check if she was okay. …she could have called 911. I’m glad they caught him. I hope she knows and understands what she has to live with.”
Victim Elizabeth Perez, 60, was pushing a cart full of toys and art supplies from when she was babysitting the boy when she was fatally injured, her daughter said.
Elizabeth Perez was just steps from her Bensonhurt home when she was fatally injured, and driver Yerlin Garcia, 24, and his Acura TSX were found nearby. Police said Garcia swerved across a double yellow line into oncoming traffic, leaving a fatally injured Perez behind as he drove away.
“I am shocked by what is happening,” said the deceased woman’s younger sister, Yvette Arzola, 55. “I have not processed it. … It should have stopped.”
Video seen by the Daily News showed the Acura swerved to avoid a group of people standing on Dahill Road near 63rd Street before crashing into the victim and taking off. Pérez, who lived near her with her only daughter, was pronounced dead at the Maimonides Medical Center.
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Gladys remembered one last phone call from her mother minutes before the accident, asking if she needed anything from a nearby deli.
“There is a cat that he likes,” said his daughter. “She goes in there and plays with the cat. … I told her to take whatever it was and for her to come home. When it took too long, that’s when I called.”
Garcia was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated operation of a motor vehicle without a license, operating a car without insurance, and operating an unregistered vehicle.
The victim was diagnosed the same day she died with severe spinal arthritis and struggled with knee problems, but never let anything affect her optimistic outlook.
“He loved to make other people laugh,” Gladys said. “He had a good heart. She loved children. She loved animals most of all… two birds and a chinchilla. Those were her babies. And that was her happiness ”.
The daughter recalled her mother feeding the neighborhood stray cats or enjoying a bike ride around the neighborhood.
“Her favorite activity was riding her bike,” Gladys said. “He liked adventure. She liked to dare.