ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A woman and her young daughter were struck and killed by a motorcycle Thursday night in Orlando, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said Anelsy Aguero Alba and Sheyla Ruiz, both of Orlando, died in the crash, which happened around 7:10 p.m. Thursday on State Road 436 near Old Cheney Highway in Orange County.
Family members told News 6 that Alba would have turned 34 years old on Friday and Sheyla would have turned 8 in April.
According to the FHP, witnesses said the motorcycle was speeding when it hit Alba and Sheyla, who were crossing the road. The motorcycle, a 2015 Honda, then crossed the median and struck a van, troopers said.
Alba was taken to Orlando Health and Sheyla, whom family members say was 7 years old, was transported to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital, according to troopers. They both later died, the FHP said.
News 6 spoke with members of the victims’ family Friday who said they’re having a difficult time accepting that they’re gone. Alba’s cousin, Stephanie Nunez, said it’s very hard, but knowing that they’re together brings her peace.
“Her [Sheyla’s] mom was her life, and I don’t think that she would have been able to be here without her mom,” Nunez said. “Either way, I think that they needed to go together.”
Glorie Aguero, Alba’s sister-in-law, said they were walking home from the supermarket when the crash took place. Officials said the pair was not using a designated crosswalk when crossing the street.
Ronnie Sapoff, an employee at a nearby shop, said he sees pedestrians crossing in the middle of the road and reckless drivers at all times of the day.
“Motorcycles, they will do 80 to 90 miles an hour on here, on Semoran,” Sapoff said. “Unbelievable. I’m not surprised, unfortunately. It doesn’t surprise me with what I see here.”
The motorcyclist, identified by troopers as Bryan Smith, 29, was taken to Orlando Health and is in serious condition, but expected to make a full recovery says Lt. Kim Montes.
According to Motes, Smith did not have the proper permit to be operating the motorcycle. Charges are pending against him, according to an FHP report.
The van driver, a 54-year-old Orlando man, was not injured.
A witness recounted the crash.
"I just saw a collision. Like, the motorcycle just hit something and burst into, like, several pieces,” she said. “I’m just heartbroken that, you know, it happened and they were in such a bad condition.”
Montes advises anyone driving through the area to slow down and drive with care.
The family started a GoFundMe page to help with the funeral costs. They say any leftover funds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, as Alba had originally requested on Facebook for her birthday.
“Right now, we need as much help, as this was unexpected,”Aguero said. “We have to not only bury one person, we have to bury two people: A little child that hasn’t grown up completely, hasn’t had a life, and I have to bury her own moth -- my sister in law.”