WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The father of a 7-year-old girl killed in a hit and run while on her way to school in West New York spoke out at a news conference Tuesday, expressing his grief and thanking law enforcement officers who quickly tracked down the suspects while also showing compassion for those who took the life of his angel.
Sheyla Pichardo and her mother were holding hands as they walked to school Monday morning when a black late-model Chevy Tahoe ran them over. The vehicle stopped, and someone got out and looked around before getting back into the SUV and fleeing the scene.
Authorities have now charged 33-year-old Fabian Rodriguez with causing and leaving the scene of fatal accident and 26-year-old Joanna Rosas-Alvarez with hindering apprehension. They are being held without bail, and it's not known if they have lawyers.
Sheyla's father, Javier Pichardo, said she was his only child and the light of his life. Speaking through an interpreter, he said he does not wish anyone harm.
"I want to thank law enforcement and all the officials for the hard work they put in," he said. "I am heartbroken. I lost my daughter. This is not an easy situation. I want everybody to learn from this experience and to take care of their kids. I speak from the bottom of my heart. Take care of your kids. God bless the children."
He said that he is not angry at the driver.
"For the man that did this to my daughter, I do not wish him any harm," he said. "God bless him. If he hears this message, I hold no anger toward him. I just ask him, if he has a family, to step into my shoes."
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'I am heartbroken' - Father of 7-year-old killed in West New York hit and run speaks out