dui crash

Couple and 3-Year-Old Son Killed When DUI Suspect Strikes Family Out for a Walk in Long Beach

Officers responded to the crash and found a man, a woman and a boy on the ground.

A mother, father and their 3-year-old son were killed when a suspected DUI driver of a sport utility vehicle slammed into the family in Long Beach, police said.

The crash occurred on Halloween in the area of Country Club Drive and Los Cerritos Park Place, Long Beach police said.

Joseph Awaida, 30, died at Long Beach Memorial Hospital Friday. His 3-year-old son, Omar, died at the hospital on Saturday. Thirty-two-year-old Raihan Dakhil Awaida, the mother and wife, died Sunday, her family said.

"You have humans and you have angels. And those two individuals, they're closer to the angels, and I don't say that lightly," Faisal Dikhil, father of Raihan Dakhil, said.

The family is devastated. 

"It feels like a nightmare," he said.

At the scene of the crash, neighbors left candles and notes for the family, grieving the loss and praying for the mother and son to pull through. 

"Me and the family, and the whole Long Beach community [find it] shocking. The question is, why? Why did he do that? Why he drive fast? Why did he cause this pain to us?" Tarek Mohamed, Long Beach Islamic Center imam asked.

Awaida was studying to complete a medical degree, the Islamic Center said, and Dakhil loved helping people and volunteering at local nonprofits. 

Officers responded to the crash and found a man, a woman and a boy on the ground. 

Police determined that the driver of a 2002 Toyota Sequoia was southbound on Country Club Drive and failed to make a turn. Instead, he drove onto the sidewalk and hit the three people, who were walking from Los Cerritos Park Place, police said.

"It's terrible. Especially when you're walking on the sidewalk, you think you're safe," neighbor Farhat Mehdi said. A GoFundMe page to collect funds for the funeral and medical costs can be found here

The driver, 20-year-old Carlo Navarro of Long Beach, was detained at the scene and later arrested for allegedly driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter. He was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information on this crash was asked to call Long Beach police at 562-570-7355. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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