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Hit-and-run survivors speak out after 9-year-old is killed

Posted at 7:19 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 00:17:18-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson mother is speaking out after losing her son to a hit-and-run that happened at the end of September.

Valentina Lautaire is back at Saint Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church,adjusting to her new normal, a month after losing her nine-year-old son.

“I don’t know why [the driver] did this. For him, I don’t want him driving anymore,” she said.

She explained she was walking down Broadway Boulevard with her two young sons — Edouard and Maximilian — when they were hit by a driver who fled. The crash took Edouard's life and left Maximilian in a cast and wheelchair.

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“It’s been hard. A lot of people — they visit us [and] they visit Max," said Lautaire.

She remembers Edouard as caring, friendly, and even at times rambunctious.

Lautaire explained the community’s support has really helped her and her son through the heartbreaking situation. Letters from his classmates and other community members have poured in.

“She wrote this letter. Eduard was helping her with English and she will miss him. Edouard was very friendly. He made a lot of friends," she said.

Now, she hopes that things can change on the road.

“I don’t know how we can make better roads, better rules. It’s very hard. There are a lot of accidents," she said.

Her son Maximilian hopes the same and knows his brother would too.

“I want people to pay attention — so no one crashes and people can be safe," he said.

Looking ahead, Maximilian hopes to get back on his feet soon.

“Whenever it gets off, I would like to do the usual stuff I used to do like run," he explained.

They explained what they would say if they could tell Edouard one last thing.

“I would just say I love him,” said Maximilian.

“He’s with me forever. I love him. He will be with me in life. He was my caring son,” said Lautaire.