Queens moms mowed down

Friends and family members remember Sheena Mathew, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Floral Park last week. Photo by Ken Maldonado
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Two Queens mothers were killed in separate hit-and-run accidents just about an hour apart from each other on a rainy night last week and the police were looking for the drivers who left both scenes.

Maria Beria, 30, was celebrating the holidays at home with her three young children and husband the day after Christmas when just before 7 p.m., she insisted on giving a family member a ride, her sister said.

Beria stepped out of her South Jamaica house and crossed 111th Avenue and, as she opened the door to her blue Honda, a white vehicle traveling west hit her and then left the scene, police said. Beria was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Bhagwandai Barclay, Beria’s sister, said she was excited her father was visiting from Guyana and had even hired a photographer to take pictures of the family Christmas Day.

“He doesn’t visit that often and she knew this was probably the last time she could get a picture of the whole family,” Barclay said. “The whole family celebrated Christmas in the house.”

Beria was a mother to two young boys and a 12-year-old girl and a devoted wife who would do anything for her family, Barclay said.

“She was a very caring person and she was always there for them,” her sister said, adding that Beria’s daughter was “devastated” by the tragedy.

Neighbor Roger Paria described Beria as a sweet and kind woman and said fellow residents are terrorized by cars racing up and down the street in front of their homes.

“It’s like a drag strip out there,” he said.

About an hour earlier a mother from Floral Park was killed crossing Hillside Avenue.

Sheena Mathew, a 38-year-old wife and mother of two young girls, was hit by a car traveling east on Hillside Avenue during a downpour as she crossed the road at the intersection of Little Neck Parkway just before 6 p.m., police said.

The vehicle left the scene and Mathew was pronounced dead when she arrived at North Shore University Hospital, according to the NYPD. The police did not have a description of the vehicle that hit Mathew, and after the accident the area was peppered with fliers requesting anyone with information to contact the police.

Mathew was an active member of the St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, and the day after she died friends and loved ones gathered near the site of the accident for a candlelight memorial.

The police had not made an arrest in either of the accidents and both investigations were ongoing.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 3:13 am, January 4, 2013
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Reader feedback

murray crane from norway house manitoba says:
i Am very sorry
Feb. 2, 2014, 10:39 pm
Jessica higgins says:
I think sheena shouldnt be killed anyway she was picking son some medince for her husband but the driver didnt see her he should be in jaill
Aug. 4, 2014, 3:43 pm

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