Husband of driver in Brighton crash that killed 9-year-old and babysitter says his wife fell asleep

Berkeley Brean
Updated: December 19, 2019 03:54 PM
Created: December 02, 2019 05:32 PM

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monday was the first day back at school in Brighton since the tragic crash that killed a 9-year-old girl and her babysitter.

The question we've been asked since that day is: Why did it happen? 


News10NBC has been working on this question through the holiday and needed to get a comment from the police. 

I can tell you just hours after the crash, I spoke to the husband of the driver off camera. I asked him what happened. He told me his wife fell asleep and went off the road.

Brighton Police say Ninoshka Vazquez was driving south on Edgewood Avenue last Wednesday. Her 1-month-old baby was in the back seat. 

Just before the road crossed over I-590, police say the car crossed the center lane, hit a power pole and then hit two children and their babysitter. 

I went back to the crash site on Monday. One of the things you don't see, and I checked before the storm came, were any skid marks on the road, or tire marks, an indication that the driver did not hit the brakes.

Monday, I reached Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi. When I told him what the driver's husband told me the chief said, "We're looking into that possibility."

The crash killed 9-year-old Mila Ruangsuwana and her babysitter Elmira Hall. It seriously hurt Mila's two-year-old brother Evan. 

Over the weekend, classmates of Mila and their parents came to put flowers next to the cross along Edgewood Avenue 

"Very sweet little girl," Jim Keenan said. "My daughter, she was with her from kindergarten all the way through last year."

"I think this will take some time," Sandy Smith said. "It'll definitely take some time to heal."

Dr. Yuliya Snyder is a family friend and neighbor. 

"Mila was a very sweet girl. Very very kind," Snyder said. "Always helpful."

Catholdi told me they are analyzing data from the driver's cell phone, the black box in the car and toxicology tests. The driver, Vazquez, hasn't been ticketed or charged. 

Data from the state says there were 4,075 crashes last year after a driver fell asleep — 10 people were killed.

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