A suspected drunk driver swerved off the road and struck a 35-year-old mother of three who was getting food from the trunk of her car for COVID-19 patients on Wednesday.
Footage of the incident showed that the woman, identified by friends as Nancy Tituaña, didn't see the car coming towards her at 110th Street and Northern Boulevard in Queens. Luis Encalada, 35, has been charged with pinning Tituaña to the back of her SUV, breaking both of her legs, according to police.
Tituaña is a coordinator with Brigada de Esperanza, a nonprofit that has been delivering food to thousands of New Yorkers who have been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. That's exactly what she was doing at the moment of impact. Groceries were seen on the street in front of Encalada's vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, an opened beer can could be seen in the cupholder. Police also charged Encalada with driving while intoxicated and driving without a license.
Tituaña was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she's recovering from her surgery, her family said.
After the crash, witnesses rushed Tituaña's aid and tried to push the car away from her. Conde Cabrera, who is also part of Brigada de Esperanza, was with Tituaña when she was hit. He says she cried out for him to look out for her children.
"She was doing a good thing. She was helping people who are sick, who could not come out of their home," said Carmen Velasquez, another volunteer with the nonprofit. "We are the Brigade of Hope and right now we hope that she can be well."