Several hundred people gathered at City Hall last Thursday evening for a vigil for “Revere’s Angels,” the two sisters who were struck and killed by a SUV on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 9 on Winthrop Avenue.
“Tonight there are tears, there is heartbreak, there are no words. But there is love. There is prayer. May our prayers express our support for this family and for Revere’s Angels,” Mayor Brian Arrigo said.
Adriana Mejia-Rivera, 5-years old, died at the scene of the accident, her 2-month old sister Natasha Nicole died on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
The operator of the SUV that struck the children and three others was driven by 42-year-old Autumn Harris of Beacon Hill who was arraigned on charges of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. The accident happened near the intersection of Route 145 and North Shore Road. Chelsea District Court Judge Matthew Machera set bail at $10,000 and ordered Harris to remain drug- and alcohol-free if she posts that amount.
Prosecutors say Harris was behind the wheel of a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox shortly before 5:00 p.m. when the car left the roadway and struck the victims, who were on a sidewalk along the median strip of Route 145. In a recorded, post-Miranda statement, she allegedly stated that she had consumed one beer earlier on Sunday afternoon, that she had taken prescription and over-the-counter medication to help her sleep the night before, and that she had only slept two hours before working all day. She allegedly stated the she had vaped CBD oil in the vehicle and that she might have nodded off at the wheel.
Harris is represented by attorney Jeff Miller. She will return to court on Jan. 10, 2019.
Further charges in the death of the 2-month old are expected.
Rev. Daniel Lazo, from the Immaculate Conception Church, led the crowd in prayer, reminding all that the gift of life is the gift of love and consolation. He asked for the family to be blessed and the Lord to “welcome these two angels.” He prayed for the family to be consoled. Rev. Lazo led the crowd in saying the “Our Father” prayer and offering each other a sign of peace, a hug, a handshake or kiss on the cheek. The crowd also offered an Ave Maria – the Hail Mary prayer.
The young parents of Adriana and Natasha, attended the vigil. Numb, with tears flowing they made their way through the crowd. They held each other and the crowd formed around them holding flickering white candles. At one point the young mother buried her face in her hands. Her husband kept closing his eyes.
“Tonight our city mourns. We are shocked at the suddenness and the magnitude of the loss that has devastated the Meija-Rivera family,” Arrigo said. “Tonight we come together as a community to show our grief.”
People from all walks of life came out to show their support for the family, who plan to bury the little girls in El Salvador. Many public and school officials attended the vigil, as well as the State Police, EMT’s and firemen.
Through an interpreter, the girls’ father Edgar Meija thanked everyone for their prayers and donations. He said what happened has been very hard and he is in pain that cannot be explained. He also asked authorities to give justice for his daughters.
A woman named Evelyn spoke before the crowd to express the gratitude of the Meija-Rivera family.
“It’s been very tough for them,” she said. “They need all our support. This is what we can do for them. Pray. Pray for strength.”
Two Go Fund Me pages have been set up for the family and have raised over $40,000.
Councillors pass motions to safeguard pedestrians
The automobile tragedy that claimed the lives of a two sisters on Dec. 9 was on the minds of Revere City Councillors at Monday’s night meeting.
Council President Jessica Giannino made a motion for a moment of silence for the two sisters.
Two motions were introduced to safeguard pedestrians walking or crossing the local streets.
The first motion by Council Vice President Joanne McKenna sought to have National Grid repair the street lights that are not working on Winthrop Parkway, Winthrop Ave. and the Revere Beach Parkway.
The second motion by Councillor George Rotondo sought to have have permanent guard rails installed at crosswalks, and skip lanes be painted at all major traffic intersections such as where the fatal accident occurred.
The victims were Adriana Mejia-Rivera, 5 years old, who died at the scene of the accident and her two-month old sister Natasha Nicole who died on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The sisters were struck by a motorist as they waited on the median strip to finish crossing the street with their parent and another adult and child.