Elderly Woman Visiting Son on Long Island Killed in Hit-Run: Police, Family

An elderly woman visiting her son on Long Island from South America was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Thursday morning, police and family say. 

The victim, Maria Carmelina Arroba Gavilanez, was walking on Ferris Avenue near O’Rourke Street in Brentwood at about 7:15 a.m. when she was hit by a car, authorities said.

The driver fled and has not been arrested, police said.

Gavilanez was pronounced dead shortly after she was struck.  

The woman's grieving son wondered who would leave her to die alone on the street. 

"Now my mother is not here," her son Nelson Palomino told NBC 4 New York. "I don't know what we're going to do." 

Palomino said his mother was visiting from Ecuador and had been living with him for a few weeks. She was a mother to nine sons, and the rock of the family, Palomino said. 

"I don't know what we going to do with all the brothers. My mother, that's the support of the family. She gave her life for the family," he said.

He had to call his family in Ecuador Thursday with the devastating news. 

"Everybody was crying," he said. "It's crazy. It's crazy." 

The intersection where Gavilanez was struck is not unusually busy: O'Rourke Street and Ferris Avenue are quiet side streets nestled in a sleepy Brentwood neighborhood. Police think the driver took off east on O'Rourke toward Islip Avenue. 

Police are searching for a possibly light-colored vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to contact police. 

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