90-year-old great-grandmother killed by hit-and-run driver in Queens

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- A family in Queens is demanding justice after their 90-year-old matriarch was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The incident was reported Wednesday morning at the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 129th Street.

Isabel Duarte was walking to a medical appointment at 7 a.m. when police say she was struck by a vehicle driven by 25-year-old Eber Baten.

Baten, also from Queens, attempted to flee the scene but was arrested moments later and is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license.

The victim's son, Renato Duarte, said another driver intervened shortly after the crash and held Baten down until police arrived.

"My mother was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver," Duarte said. "We just want to see him brought to justice."

Duarte said the driver was behind the wheel of a church van belonging to Lluvias de Gracia of Richmond Hill. The pastor said Baten, an active member of the church, attended services Tuesday night and drove the church van home. He was returning the van to church before work when he struck the victim.

The van has been impounded by NYPD.

The prosecutor said Baten, an immigrant from Guatemala, gave detectives a statement after the accident, claiming he didn't see Duarte as he was making a turn.

"The van was too high and the woman was too low," he said. After striking Duarte, he claims he got nervous because he was driving without a license.

He was ordered held on $10,000 bail and he remains in custody.

Duarte, a widow, was an immigrant from Colombia and raised nine children in the tiny home she owned with her husband on 129th Street in Queens.

She leaves 18 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren behind.

She had just celebrated her 90th birthday in September.

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