Nothing could ease the pain of Sergio and Karla Lara, whose 4-year-old son Sergio Jr. was killed May 4 when a car involved in a collision at a Richmond Hill intersection jumped the curb and struck him as he sat in a stroller.
Seeking to help the Laras in any way they could, about 20 southern Queens professionals, led by Realtors Jay Rakhar and Lisa Edoo, banded together to raise $3,000 to assist with the burial costs for Sergio Jr.
You cannot bring back a child or lessen somebodys pain by offering financial help, but we thought if we could take away this burden it would help, said Edoo, of Coldwell Banker Memvar Realty on Liberty Avenue.
Late last month, Rakhar, of Goldfield Realty Inc. in South Ozone Park, delivered the money to the Laras, who emigrated to Queens from Guatemala. They were grateful for the gesture of support from the donors, mostly Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park lawyers and Realtors.
I dont know how to say thanks, said Sergio Lara. Thanks is not enough to tell the community.
On May 4 at 11:40 am, Karla Lara was waiting to cross at the corner of 120th Street and 103rd Avenue with her family when a black Chevrolet sedan collided with a red Jeep and careened onto the sidewalk.
The car crushed Sergio Jr.s stroller, killing him. Karla Lara sustained minor injuries and her 16-month-old daughter, Angy, broke both legs. Other family members escaped unharmed. Neither driver was charged, police said.
Four days earlier, the city Department of Transportation approved the installation of a traffic light at the intersection, a longtime source of complaints from area residents.
A month has passed, but the pain has not subsided for Sergio Lara and his wife.
Were still crying every day, he said. We cry because everything were doing now we used to do with Sergio.
Lara described his son as a happy, healthy boy who had a lot of strength and was fiercely independent.
He was a little boy who always wanted to be playing. He never wanted to go to sleep, said Lara. Every time the dark came he said the dark is coming and in the morning he used to say the sun is out.
Inspired by the Lara familys gratitude, Rakhar and Edoo plan to establish a non-profit foundation to help families in the community stricken by similar tragedies.
Anything that deals with distress and poverty or destituteness we will step in and provide assistance in any form that we can, said Rakhar.
For more information or to participate in the planning of the organization, call Jay Rakhar at 738-5600.
Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2002 Community News Group
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