Vigil: Hundreds Mourn Family of 3 After Fatal Halloween Crash in Long Beach

Nov. 8, 2019 / By

Above, people attend a vigil honoring the lives of Joseph Awaida, his wife, Raihan, and their son, Omar on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.


On Thursday night, loved ones, neighbors, police and local government officials honored a family of three who died after being struck by an alleged DUI driver by Country Club Drive and Los Cerritos Park Place this past Halloween in Long Beach.

Joseph Awaida, 30, Raihan Awaida, 32, and their 3-year-old son, Omar, were walking on the west sidewalk of Country Club Drive when 20-year-old Carlo Navarro drove up onto the sidewalk and struck the Awaida family with a 2002 Toyota Sequoia, according to police.

Starting at 6 p.m., the public held a candlelight vigil at Los Cerritos Park, heard prayers and song from loved ones and strangers alike. Among the speakers were family of the victims, mayor Robert Garcia, council members Roberto Uranga and Al Austin, congress member Janice Hahn and police chief Robert Luna.

The Awaida family victims were beloved by many.

“This is a tremendous loss for the community,” said Matthew Beatty, 36, who lives in the neighborhood where the accident took place.

 

Flowers and candles surround a family portrait of Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

Jesus Yanez, 48, takes a long pause during a vigil honoring the lives of Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019. 

 

Matthew Beatty, 36, consoles his wife, Nichole Beatty, 31, as she sheds tears for the Awaida family during a candlelight vigil at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

Diego Rodriguez, 15, left, and Rodrigo Rodriguez, 49, right, perform “Vaya Con Dios,” a song about losing a loved one, during a candlelight vigil at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

Vera Awaida and her two younger sons speak at a podium in front of hundreds of attendees for a vigil honoring her son Joseph at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019. 

 

The father of one of the victims speaks at a podium in front of hundreds of attendees during a candlelight vigil honoring the lives of Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr. speaks to a massive crowd of attendees honoring the lives of Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

A group recites a prayer around the candlelight vigil for Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

 

Attendees of a candlelight vigil for Joseph, Raihan and Omar Awaida wrote warms notes for surviving family members at Los Cerritos Park on Nov. 7, 2019.

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Crystal Niebla

Crystal Niebla

Crystal was raised in South Los Angeles and is the first college graduate in her family. She is a class of 2016 CSULB graduate who has served as an editor for her campus newspaper and freelanced for the Long Beach Post and Random Length News.