The devastated parents of an 8-month-old New Jersey girl killed when an out-of-control bus knocked over a light pole that struck her stroller said in an interview that they want their daughter's death to make a difference.
Jairo Paredes and Maylin Hago spoke to NBC 4 New York Thursday amid their grief over baby Angelie, whom they described as an independent, playful girl who had already reached important milestones like crawling and pulling herself up.
She was killed when a bus veered off a West New York street, striking a pole that fell on her as her mother pushed her stroller along the sidewalk. Prosecutors have said the driver was on his phone; he has been charged.
"I'm still trying to find meaning into all of this," said Hago. "What I do know is that what happened to our daughter could've been prevented -- it's not some bizarre or freak accident."
Her husband had a message for those who think they can use their phones and drive.
"If you're in a car and your friend is texting, hold the phone for them," Paredes said. "If you're driving alone, put it in the trunk, put in your a bag, silence it. It's stupid. We're not that important that we need to take that next phone call or we need to send that next message. It can wait."
Hago said the parents are living "a new reality."
"I don't want this nightmare for any parent, for anyone, to lose a loved one because of distracted driving," she said.