Family of toddler killed by car opens up - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family of toddler killed by car opens up

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The family of a 3-year-old boy who was hit and killed by a car, is talking exclusively to CBS News 8 about their heartbreaking loss.

The boy died Friday after being hit while on the sidewalk with his mother, along Encinitas Boulevard.

Juan Ruiz was known as Andres to his family, and his mother is distraught after having been there through this horrific ordeal.

She spoke with CBS News 8 through a family friend and translator.

Andres is remembered as a caring child who loved school, riding his bike, and taking care of his little brother.

"Honey you're going to be all right. The ambulance is coming for you, you'll be fine."

Those were the last words Zenaida Ruiz told her 3-year-old son Juan as he lay pinned underneath the white Toyota sedan that had run him over.

"She started hitting the window...the window for the car for him to stop because he wanted to just leave and leave him there," family friend Ana Martinez said.

Juan went by the name Andres, and was with his mother and little brother to catch a bus Friday morning at around 7:30.

They were on the sidewalk near the 400 block of Encinitas Boulevard when she let go of his hand to signal for the bus.

That's when she says, the 32-year-old driver backed out of a driveway quickly, without looking their direction, and hit her stroller and Andres who was next to her.

"He said he was in a hurry, he had to go because he was already running late. She said no, you can't go, if you leave I'm going to kill you," Martinez said. 

Andres died shortly after being taken away in an ambulance.

Friends have come through with hugs for Andres' parents and also with support in planning the funeral.

"When I went to the hospital yesterday, it just broke my heart because I love him so much," family friend Olivia Reynaga said.

Zenaida holds her one-year-old Sebastian close even if she can't explain to him what he saw happen to his big brother.

"Middle of the night he's waking up asking for his older brother," Martinez said.

Grief has overcome the Ruiz family but one thing they will not let in is anger.

"Dad was expressing earlier today that there's nothing he can do. If they send him to jail that's not going to return his son," Martinez said.

Deputies are calling this an accident and the driver has not been cited.

A memorial with flowers and stuffed animals has been set up at the site of the accident. Friends are working on setting up an account where donations can be made for the upcoming funeral.

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