Many in Utica are grieving the loss of a four-year-old boy who died following a car accident. Police say it appears that Zachary Htoo chased after a ball and ran into the road. Htoo was the son of Burmese refugees. Our Alana LaFlore tells us how the tight knit community is supporting one another through the tragedy.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Zachary Htoo was playing outside with friends when he was struck by a car on Brinckerhoff Avenue between Arthur and James streets. He was flown to SUNY Upstate Medical Center, but died the next day from his injuries.
His family describes Htoo as a well behaved child.
"He's really quiet," said Emmanuel Moochet, Zachary Htoo's uncle. "He's not too talkative.
He liked to play around, go to the church and for Sunday school sing a song."
It was a sad day for Htoo's extended family.
"Inside of my heart I feel so sorry for mom and dad," said Moochet of Htoo's parents. "If you lose something that you really love you know you're gonna feel so bad. I swear to God, mom and dad feel so bad. All of them crying upstairs."
The last time Zachary Htoo's uncle saw him, he was alive and well. That's why he was so shocked when he logged onto Facebook and read a gut-wrenching message.
"One of my friends said, I'm so sorry about your nephew," recalls Moochet. "And told her like, what are you talking about? I didn't know anything about it."
Moochet's friend called right away, filling him in on the accident's details. He can't put into words how sad the family feels. But they're relying on faith to get them through the tragedy.
"We can't do anything," Moochet said. "We just gave all messes, everything to God. Let God fix everything. Let the time fix the bad situation inside."
Police say so far, it doesn't appear that speed was a factor in the fatal crash. Results from a full accident reconstruction are expected soon.