LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Years after his death, loved ones of an infant fatally struck by a car gathered where the city recently installed a plaque in honor of his life.
Marcello Vasquez died in July 2011 after a car jumped the curb during the downtown Los Angeles Art Walk and struck his stroller. He was 2 months old.
“I replay it in my head often, and I can hear like the noise, the chaos, everything,” said Natasha Vasquez, Marcello’s mother.
On Wednesday, nearly four years after his death, friends and family of the infant convened at Spring Street Park to see the plaque, which was part of a legal settlement.
“It’s nice that he’ll always be here. There’s going to always be a part of him here in downtown,” she said.
The city agreed to the plaque after Marcello’s parents filed a wrongful-death lawsuit that alleged that not enough was done to protect pedestrians at the Art Walk by detouring traffic and shutting streets.
“An apology, a recognition, some kind of an emotional giving back is sometimes as powerful and as important as money,” said Jim Rosen, an attorney.
The city settled with the parents for about $500,000, but the family says the plaque, which has a drawing of Marcello by an Art Walk artist, means so much more to them.
“You never replace the loss of your son, you know, but it’s something that the city has done to help us, that they acknowledge that something happened that was very, very tragic, and they’re just not sweeping it under the rug,” said Jimmy Vasquez, the child’s father.
The family has a son who is almost 3 and a girl born a month ago.
“We just want them to understand that they have an angel above them always watching over them and that they had an older brother,” he said.